I love Caprese salad.  The first time I tried it was several years back, enjoying dinner out with a friend.  It was extra special because it was made with heirloom tomatoes.  When our main course came, we just wanted more of the salad.  It was that good.  They also served an amazing Lavender Martini.  The restaurant was Stanley & Seafort's in Tacoma WA.

At the Farmers Market this week I picked up some basil and my favorite tomatoes from Rockhouse Farms.  But, this time I felt like pasta, not salad.  I wish I could include pics, it was so pretty.  I should have a camera soon.

Here's the recipe:

When I have the salad, I prefer whole basil leaves, but I thought a pesto would work best to coat the pasta.


1 1/2 cups of fresh basil
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup pecans
3 T vegan Parmesan cheese
dash of kosher salt
1/2 extra virgin olive oil

OK, not traditional pesto, but that is what I had.  This is the first time I used pecans instead of pine nuts.  It was delicious.  Pecans are plentiful here and I always have them on hand.  I used my Ninja, adding everything but the olive oil, pureeing it, then slowly stirring in the olive oil until it was the right consistency.


4 servings whole wheat penne
4 large tomatoes (splurge and get the good ones)
1/4 c balsamic vinegar (approximately)
kosher salt

Cook the pasta in salted water as directed.  While cooking, dice tomatoes.  Place tomatoes in bottom of large pasta bowl.  Add pesto and balsamic and mix thoroughly.  Drain pasta and add to pasta bowl.  Mix and serve with Italian bread.  I like to roll several basil leaves and thinly slice them into slivers and sprinkle them on top.

I served this warm, just the heat from the pasta, but leftovers would have been equally good cold, if there had been any.

Fellow lovers of this salad might notice the absence of the fresh mozzarella, but I haven't found a suitable vegan  substitute for it, and honestly no one noticed.
Labels: | edit post
0 Responses