It’s Over! And Something for Sue (Caprese-esque Salad)

Hooray the MCAT is over! Jon and I took it on the same day so I speak for the both of us when I say WE’RE DONE! That means that we can finally have some continuous reckless fun and, more importantly for you guys, it means we time to put up more posts.

Two weeks ago my cousin Sue and her parents came to visit from Michigan. We only get to see each other once or twice a year, so despite the fact that I was taking the MCAT in a week, we went out a lot and had lots of yummy food around North Brunswick and in the city. We cooked for each other (she, cheesecake for me, and I, salad for her). I guess salad doesn’t actually count as cooking, but she really liked it and wanted me to put it up on the blog. So here I describe my caprese-esque salad and balsamic vinegar dressing.

What is a caprese-esque salad you ask? Well a caprese salad is just mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil; but my caprese-esque salad is a salad with all the fixings. So really it’s a variation on a real caprese salad. If you just found that diversion confusing, sorry. You can choose to ignore it.

What you’ll need for the salad:
fresh mozzarella
fresh basil
button mushrooms
grape tomatoes
pickled artichoke hearts
salad greens (romaine, arugula, whatever)

What you’ll need for the dressing:
balsamic vinegar
lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
honey
salt
pepper
fresh garlic

For two large handfuls of salad greens (the amount I usually eat for a light lunch) you’ll need 3 or 4 basil leaves, 6 grape tomatoes and mozzarella balls, 2 mushrooms, and 4 artichoke hearts. Finely chop up your basil and give the artichoke hearts a rough chop. If you notice that some of the hearts still have some of those woody outer layers, you’ll definitely want to get rid of those before you throw it in the salad. Slice your tomatoes and mozzarella into halves and thinly slice the mushrooms. Throw everything into a bowl.

I personally believe that fresh balsamic vinegar dressing is sooo much better tasting than stuff you can buy in stores. Plus, it doesn’t have that weird thick texture that many store-bought dressings have. For about a cup of dressing you’ll need 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar. To that add 1/2 a teaspoon of honey, 1 clove of crushed garlic, and 1 teaspoon each of lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix it all up until the salt dissolves. Then add 1/3 cup of the EVOO (for those non-Rachel Ray viewers, that’s extra virgin olive oil). I would recommend putting that all into a little container with a cover for easy mixing and shaking. Add 2-3 teaspoons of dressing to the salad. Mix ‘er all up and enjoy!

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