The classic flavours of a Caprese salad get all adventurous in this recipe to add a bit of body and substance to what is usually a light lunch dish or starter.
Caprese Salad… Kinda!
Here I go again playing around with classical dishes which I am sure will horrify some.
Of course, a classic Caprese salad is a wonderful thing the creamy milky mozzarella cheese with sweet ripe tomatoes and almost metallic basil.
It is a match made in heaven.
I like to play with food and play with ideas. I rarely stray a million miles from where recipes originate and I don’t claim to make them better. The same would go for my Tuna Nicoise Pasta Salad or indeed my BLT pasta Salad.
All I have done in this case is add a little spinach, balsamic and popcorn…
“Whoooahhhh, hold on” I hear you shout you added popcorn? My answer would be “yup”!
How to Cook the Popcorn.
Popcorn has a long association with a trip to the movies and I have played with an Indian variation on popcorn here on Krumpli.
And I go the idea of adding popcorn to a salad after visiting one of many food festivals this summer.
A swanky restaurant had put together a rabbit rillettes and rolled it in popcorn.
It then served it alongside some more popcorn tossed with pomegranate molasses that replaced croutons in a salad.
It was a genius way of adding texture and a new flavour sensation.
Well, I think it works wonderfully in this Caprese salad!
Cooking the popcorn is ridiculously easy. You need a pan, some oil, in this case butter and a lid.
Then you melt the butter chuck in the popcorn and add a lid, a few minutes later you have popcorn!
Traditionally this recipe would have featured relatively thickly sliced ripe tomatoes.
I have gone with roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine and some deseeded plum tomatoes.
Any gardener will tell you that most of the aroma from a tomato comes from the plant rather than the fruit.
Aroma is such an important aspect of food, as a result, roasting the tomatoes on the vine adds a great sniff to the recipe.
Unfortunately, cherry tomatoes are not blessed with the most flavour but because these are roasted tomatoes we are adding flavour too!
- 200 g Cherry Tomatoes on the Vine
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 10 g Butter
- 125 g Mini Mozzarella Cheese
- 35 g Polenta
- 1 Handful Spinach leaves
- 36 Basil Leaves
- 10 g Unpopped Corn
- 75 g Tomato
- 25 g Capers
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt, To taste
- Preheat your oven to 180°C or 350°F.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium high heat and when hot add in the cherry tomatoes and olive oil and transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Take the single tomato remove the seeds and slice into a 3.5mm dice and set aside.
- Take the butter and place in a small pan over a medium heat with a lid and when hot add the popcorn and pop.
- When popped, pick through and discard any un-popped pieces and set aside.
- Take a dry frying pan and add the polenta and toast it off you just want a nice nutty flavour and texture, this should take 2-3 minutes.
- Finely shred your basil leaves.
- When the tomatoes come out of the oven remove from the pan and set aside, do not throw away the cooking liquid we are going to use this.
- Dress your spinach leaves in olive oil and place them on the plate.
- Add the diced and roasted tomatoes.
- Sprinkle with the capers and basil.
- Roll the mozzarella balls in the toasted polenta and add to the plate.
- Finally dress the popcorn in the liquid from the roasted tomatoes and add to the plate before drizzling with a little of the left over liquid and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 520 Total Fat: 40g Saturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 23g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 1089mg Carbohydrates: 27g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 18g Protein: 17g