Caprese Salad is light and refreshing, and comes together in minutes!

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We’re allliiiive!

The tornado sirens blared on and off all evening last night, but thankfully an actual tornado never made an appearance in our general vicinity. WHEW!

Despite living in the Midwest my whole life, I’ve never actually witnessed or been in a tornado (knocking furiously on wood) and I have zero desire to change that status anytime in the near future. I hate tornadoes! They’re so freaky, right? Like, clouds should not spin that way…

Its rained on and off today, and is bone-chillingly damp and cold outside, so I made a bright and cheery looking salad for dinner. A cool Caprese Salad!

This took legit 3 minutes to put together and the flavors were so simple, pure and fresh.

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I started with these gorgeous, ruby-red grape tomatoes I picked up at the store this weekend. I always get scared buying a carton of tomatoes for fear that the ones in the middle will be mushy, but nearly every single one was taut & crisp!

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After a quick rinse under cool water, I sliced them in half and nestled them in baby spinach.

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Next, I dotted on fresh mozzarella cheese,

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blanketed the top with fresh basil,

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chiffonaded like so…

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sprinkled on briny capers,

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and drenched the whole thing in sweet & syrupy balsamic reduction.

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Finally, the pièce de résistance – a drizzle of the most flavorful extra virgin olive oil I have EVER tasted – Tuscon Herb Olive Oil from Old Town Oil in Chicago. I want to drink this stuff!

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After a last minute sprinkling of salt and pepper, it was salad straight-to-the-face.

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Flavor explosion!

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Eating a salad that tastes like this is an experience. It tastes like something special, know what I mean?

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I think it’s the fresh basil. When I pick those first leaves off the stem, and smell that fresh, herby scent, I think of summer. Vacation. Italy. Sono soddisfatta!

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Obviously Big Fork Worthy

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In other news, I’ve had a case of the dizzies today. :( I think too much sugar is the culprit, starting with the Cinnamon Crunch Panera Bagel I picked up for a warm and luscious breakfast on my way into work.

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Sugar grams are off the charts – but it was just one meal… Then I went to a workshop for work later in the morning, where there were piles of frooties and other delicious candies at everyone’s spot.

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I heart frooties. I cannot control myself around them and ate like 80. Some days I’m very good at controlling my raging sweet tooth but other days, not so much…

If nothing else it’s a great lesson that for me, out of sight = out of mind. I have no problem not eating sugary goodies if they’re not right in front of my face, but unfortunately sweet treats are usually too hard to resist when they’re staring me down. Mental note: next time, remove unnecessary candy to a community table!

In other news, Top Chef All Stars is on tonight and the three remaining contestants get to cook for Masaharu Morimoto – my faaaaaavorite! I’ve loved MM ever since watching him battle in the OG Iron Chef Japan back in the day.

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Please tell me someone else was as OBSESSED with Iron Chef Japan as I was??? I discovered it on late-night Food Network when I got back from living in Japan for a summer in college and watched it every night when I was homesick for my adopted country.

I can’t even watch Iron Chef America. Ugh! Blasphemy!

;)

Have a good night!

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What’s harder for you to pass up – sweet or salty foods?