There’s not a whole lot better than the fresh flavors of summer. The end of summer/early fall is by far my favorite time of the year for fresh fruits and veggies here in Colorado. I know what you are thinking. We live in an area with a semi-arid climate. How does anything grow here!? Well, if you were wondering (you probably weren’t, but whatever), it does! We also have some great irrigation systems to keep those fruits and veggies perfectly watered and growing =). I know I’ve talked about the amazingness that is the palisade peach, but we also have great tomatoes, greens and herbs too. I wanted to highlight those flavors the other night and make a caprese salad with a chimichurri sauce for dinner. I know the two don’t SOUND like they should go together, but trust me when I tell you that it is a match made in heaven. The fresh herbs from the chimichurri sauce with the combination of fresh mozzarella and tomato has my mouth watering again…and again…and again. Actually, we are having it again for dinner tonight. We have a lot of tomatoes. =)
Chimichurris are a great way to use up herbs. Pesto would be another way to use them up, but I like the idea of a fresh chimichurri for those hot summer days. I personally love the stuff by itself. Well, not literally by itself, but with bread. I think you could have probably figured this out on your own. I don’t want to be known as one of those fools who only eats chimichurri by the spoonful! I may be guilty of doing this…just once in a while though. I swear. If you are into canning, chimichurris are great for that too! It’s like a glorified salsa, and who absolutely doesn’t love the idea if eating “fresh” salsa all year round?
I promise I’m not going back to pairing with IPAs (just yet). I thought about it for a split second because I really do think this would pair well with an IPA =). When I REALLY thought about it though, a Farmhouse Ale sounded best to me. They aren’t SUPER popular, but they are out there. A saison would be a nice alternative if you can’t find a legit Farmhouse Ale. Cigar City Brewing’s Guava Grove Farmhouse Ale is de-lish. It’s a great summertime beer and it really brings out the flavors of those fresh summer veggies. It has hints of tropical flavors, but is perfectly smooth and refreshing. If you are out to find a great summer brew, this one is for you. Oh, and it comes in 750 ml bottles. This…I love.
I hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend! We don’t have too many of those summer weekends left!
We love caprese salad around here. A fresh chimichurri sauce really makes this traditional salad shine!
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 fresno pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 4 cups lettuce, fresh greens of your choice
- 10 basil leaves, julienned
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sliced baguette (optional)
- Start with the chimichurri. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, parsley, oregano, fresno pepper, shallot and garlic. Pulse approximately 8-10 times until the sauce is well blended, but not pureed. Remove from the food processor and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flake. Stir to combine and set aside until you are ready to use. Will refrigerate for about a week in an airtight container. Best served at room temperature.
- On a large platter, layer the bottom with fresh greens. Starting with a slice of mozzarella (and ending with a slice of mozzarella), layer your cheese slices and tomato slices...alternating the two all the while. Top with julienned basil leaves and drizzle with just a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the chimichurri on top or serve on the side. Serve with fresh baguette slices are all by itself. Enjoy!
Hardware: * Sharp Knife * Cutting Board * Sharp Knife * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Large Platter *