“Pickles & Honey” – how stinking cute is that? I have blog name envy. What’s even better is the reason behind the name. And her “About” page hit home with me, too. I can definitely relate to her story. I, too, have pipe dreams about living in northern California. After reading her story, maybe I should stay put ;)
It has been mega hot here, so when I spotted this vegan take on the light, summer-y Caprese Salad, I knew I had to try it. Before I had a chance to make it, we went out for dinner with friends. If you’re a vegan, you know what a challenge it can be to order at restaurants. I was so happy to find a Caprese Salad on the menu, so I ordered it without mozzarella, and avocado instead. The server gave me a hard time about it and embarrassed me in front of our friends. I wanted to go into a rant about being vegan and why I would opt to order this way, but I saved myself further embarrassment and politely smiled. The salad was pretty enough on the plate, but it was largely lacking in flavor. The tomato was under ripe, there was no basil (gasp!) and not enough balsamic/olive oil. It was a “lemon.” Fortunately it was the perfect summer night. on the restaurant deck. on the water. at sunset. So, could I really complain? I think not. (That is not us in the photo, just some nearby diners.)
The restaurant’s lackluster Caprese Salad didn’t discourage me from trying out Amanda’s recipe. And I’m pleased to report that her version is WAY better. It’s so simple. How could anyone screw this up?! Last night, I sat out on my deck and enjoyed every bite of this perfect summer meal. Oh, and I even got to use my very own tomato and basil, grown on my deck (can you sense the swell of pride? – I am challenged in the green thumb department).
1 medium tomato
½ ripe avocado*
6-8 leaves of fresh basil (I used 6 large leaves and it was more than I needed)
1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
sea salt & pepper to taste
*I used almost a whole avocado because it was my whole dinner and I was HUNGRY! If you’re not familiar with choosing ripe avocados, you’ll want one that has a primarily all black skin. You don’t want one with a green skin that is hard to the touch. It should have a little give when you squeeze it (if it feels “mushy,” then it’s probably too ripe).
1. First, cut the avocado in half (slicing just down to the nut). Turn one half to open. Remove the nut. Carefully scoop out each half in one piece. Slice each half into ¼ inch thick slices.
2. Slice the top and bottom off the tomato, and remove core as needed. Cut tomato in half (top to bottom), then slice each half into ¼ inch thick slices.
3. Arrange the tomato and avocado slices on a plate, alternating between the two.
4. Thinly slice the fresh basil and toss over the tomato and avocado.
5. Drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy your super easy, guilt-free, fresh summer salad!