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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tomato, Strawberry & Mozzarella Salad

We love salads at our house (though Son is more of purist with them)!  So this recipe was much anticipated to serve.  Here in southern New Jersey where local farmers grow from April through October, there is always something fresh to buy in the Garden State.  That being said, I looked forward to adding seasonal strawberries to this mix.  So I gave Husband the honey-do list to pick up the strawberries.  I forgot to be super specific about where to purchase the strawberries, I did write the name of the farm market to buy them from (Conte’s).  But, alas, there is another farmer’s market that holds a spot at the intersection in front of the farm and store where I indicated. 
Don’t get me wrong, the one at the intersection has lots of local grown, a great greenhouse, their own bakery, along with other produce brought  in from one of the other 50 states.  Conte’s, (where I told husband to go has the same style) though, grows their own strawberries and what I wanted to use in this salad.  The other stand had strawberries from….California.  Husband stopped at that market and picked up a container of those red strawberries from….California.  What could I say?  It was too late to go to Conte’s.  The salad had to be made and with the California ones.  Dorie’s suggestion to go with what is fresh locally ran through my head and I could imagine her shrug at what bounty I had.  I pretended that  Conte’s strawberries were gone for the season so that I could my enthusiasm for the salad. 
I used plum tomatoes, skinned and seeded, California strawberries (with all fairness, they were red and sweet!), and Bel Gioso’s mozzarella, and my own basil.  Lovely color when assembled.  We couldn’t wait to have it with our grilled steaks.  Husband loved it, son shunned it, and I let the flavor combinations make their impression on my palate.  I wasn’t sure about the tomato with the strawberry.  The basil was wonderful.  I decided I would like to try the recipe with baby spinach as a substitute for the tomatoes next time.  Love the flexibility of this salad to serve with a brunch, lunch or dinner. 
Looking forward to July’s selections.
Happy Summer, Everyone!


  1. It's funny how you can never get those errand runners to pick up the PRECISE thing you are looking for :-) Even so, it's nice when they are willing to go do it... (I know mine is pretty tolerant about some of my requests)
    Glad that most of you enjoyed.
    Happy Friday.

  2. We had about two weeks worth of local strawberries at the farmers market here back in May, and then they were gone. California berries are all I can get my hands on these days.

  3. I was surprised Dorie didn't have us seed the tomatoes. Love that you did!

  4. Hey Jersey Girl, I used grape tomatoes and fresh Jersey strawberries that I picked at a local "you pick" farm! LOL! I did enjoy the taste of this salad. Yours looks wonderful…sorry it wasn't a hit!

  5. Here in Pennsylvania I am patiently waiting for the farm stand to open.
    The greatest corn and tomatoes going outside of NJ. Hunterdon County
    had some of the best fresh silver queen corn ever. Back to caprese salad. Your
    plate looks great, and I love your idea of using spinach instead. Sounds
    interesting. Tricia and I had a split decision this week, but that"s the
    fun of cooking with Dorie.

  6. As long as your strawberries are not from another country (like the ones sold here), I'd say yours were pretty much local ;-). Sorry to hear that you weren't too thrilled about the flavors of strawberries and tomatoes together, but your salad sure looks great!

  7. Adding spinach would be lovely! At least your husband helps out with the shopping. Like Maya, most of my strawberries are flown in - and right now they are from California. Maybe you can do-over with Conte's?

  8. I can relate to your strawberry story. I try to buy local produce whenever I can and my partner's much more relaxed about it.

    We both really enjoyed this salad. I was surprised, actually. Looks like you had mixed results in your house!