Food Photography and Caprese Salad

Last month, my photographer friend Jason Bleecher took some photos of some food I created. I’ll be sharing the photos and the recipes over the next few weeks!

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

1/2 cup good quality Balsamic vinegar

3 fresh mozzarella balls

3-4 medium size red and yellow heirloom tomatoes

1 cup of red and yellow cherry tomatoes

purple and green basil leaves

Salt and pepper

Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a small pan, reduce the balsamic vinegar to half over medium heat. Slice the mozzarella and tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and half the cherry tomatoes. Arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella in alternating layers on the plate. Chiffonade the green basil and spread it over the salad, garnish with purple basil leaves. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar reduction and olive oil over the salad and season with salt and pepper.

Simple and delicious, especially when tomatoes are in season.

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Green Meanie dressing

I figured out how to make creamy salad dressing at home thanks to an article in “Everyday Food” (my favorite magazine for recipe ideas) last month.

I used their base recipe as a guide and I made up my own dressing. I love it so much and you can use it for way more than just salad.

Green Meanie Dressing:

1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 whole avocado

1 clove of garlic, grated

1 lime zested and juiced

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup packed basil leaves

1/3 cup packed chives

1/3 cup packed cilantro

salt and pepper

put all of you ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. You can keep it refrigerated for up to two weeks. If you want a thinker dressing, omit 1/2 cup of the buttermilk.

One thing that I have found is that the avocado sometimes oxidizes and will turn the top layer of dressing brown. The lime juice will help prevent this. It did not happen when I only used one avocado, but if you add any more than that to the dressing you might get that brownish top layer. I made it one time using purple basil instead of green basil. The purple actually turned it kind of a brownish hue instead of the pretty green that usually turns out to be… but it still tasted delicious.

It’s not just for lettuce! Try it: on potato salad, as a sandwich spread, as a topping for salmon, an extra condiment on your burger, or as a veggie dip!

Here is some summer chicken salad made with green meanie dressing…