Sometimes I forget to enjoy the simple things in life. Like a good coffee or slice of cake. I forget to appreciate it for it's simple joy. It's easy to get carried away with the fancy schmancy stuff and forget to celebrate the simple things. So I'm making a conscious effort to try and focus on exactly that, the simple things. Like the delicious ripeness of a juicy tomato picked from the vine and enjoyed with just a sprinkling of salt. This is how I came to love food, through simple pleasures. So I'm sharing a very simple Caprese Salad with Avocado and Courgette with you today. I feel like this is a non-recipe recipe, but it's how I want to spend my Summer - preparing food without too much thought, without recipes or instructions. Because that's life isn't it? No right way, no wrong way, we overcomplicate it I think.
This salad is something I've been making for a while, it's by no means new, it's a basic Caprese Salad with a few extras. I haven't shared it with you because I've always felt like it was too simple. But then I thought, what if you're not confident with the idea of making meals that you sort of pull together. It took me a while to feel confident enough to do that. And when I really let go of doing everything by the book that's when I really enjoy cooking the most. I probably feel this way most during Summer months too, you know, when routines go out the window, what a relief that is. I don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen and if I can feed my family without having to cook at all then hey, that's a bonus.
This Caprese salad takes very little effort at all, there is some slicing of tomatoes and some shaving of the courgette but that's about it. You can make it ahead of time, and there is no dressing, just some very good extra virgin olive oil, some very good balsamic vinegar and some excellent ingredients. A basic Caprese Salad doesn't come with a complicated dressing and I think that's perfectly fine, the tomatoes are the star here, let them shine. The most important part of this salad is to have very good ingredients, like ripe juicy tomatoes, perfectly smooth avocado, creamy mozzarella and a good sized fresh courgette. Then all you need is a handful of fresh basil, flaky sea salt, cracked black pepper, the best extra virgin olive oil you can buy and a well aged balsamic vinegar.
You can add a few drops of balsamic vinegar and a tiny pinch of cracked black pepper to the oil, give it a stir then add it to the salad when it's plated. It's up to you if you want to do that, I quite like it. I also added some lamb's lettuce to bulk it up a bit. This Caprese Salad is great on it's own for lunch or a light supper, it's also really good served with some grilled chicken or fish. And I can definitely recommend it with some fresh crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine.
Fancy more tomato recipes? Check out this Spinach Frittata with Tomatoes and Goat's Cheese.
Caprese Salad with Avocado and Courgette
- 250 g / 1 ¼ cup of tomatoes on the vine sliced
- 200 g / 1 cup of tricolour cherry tomatoes on the vine cut in half
- 1 large courgette shaved into ribbons
- 200 g / 1 ½ cup Bocconcini or 1 ball of mozzarella torn.
- 1 large ripe avocado cut into slices.
- 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
- 50 g / ⅔ cup lamb's lettuce (optional)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 50 ml / ¼ cup pf extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp Balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp Freshly ground black pepper.
- Arrange all the vegetables and cheese on a serving dish, sprinkle over the sea salt and black pepper and serve with the oil and vinegar.
*Cup measurements are approximate, I use a metric scale and jug to weigh and measure all ingredients.