A traditional Caprese salad is one of the most simple, refreshing, and delicious dishes. Most commonly comprised of tomato, mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper. Very simple and very delicious.
That was the inspiration for the following concoction that I came up with today for lunch. With one week to go on our Whole30 food challenge, mozzarella was not an option. We did have some leftover mojo-marinated, grilled pork tenderloin. Sliced in rounds it could visually play the role of mozzarella but its more forward flavors and meaty texture fundamentally changed the concept. Enter arugula, onion, Kalamata olives, and cucumber. Italy meets Greece? Who cares, this was delicious!
After plating the pork and tomatoes, overlapping, around the outside of the plate, I seasoned them with salt and pepper (always kosher and freshly-cracked, respectively). Then, in a small bowl, I combined arugula, thinly sliced onion half-rounds, lengthwise-quartered Kalamata olives, lemon juice, lemon zest, and extra virgin olive oil (and salt and pepper, of course). Salad went in a mound in the center of the plate. Chiffonade of basil over the pork and tomatoes. And finally, finished with two of my most prized condiments, lemon infused extra virgin olive oil and 25 year old balsamic vinegar, both from Oilerie. This was a light but satisfying home run!
- Mojo-marinated, grilled pork tenderloin, or similar, sliced
- Any ripe and delicious tomato, sliced
- Baby arugula
- English cucumber, quartered and sliced
- Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Balsamic vinegar
- Basil, chiffonade
- Kosher salt
- Freshly-cracked black pepper
- Arrange slices of tomato and pork, alternating and overlapping around the outside of the plate. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine in a bowl the arugula, onion, olives, and cucumber. Add a little fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Give a couple splashes of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss and plate in a mound in the center of the plate.
- Sprinkle the basil over the pork and tomatoes
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (preferable the ones mentioned above but any will do).
What have you made lately to “fool” your taste buds? Have you combined any favorite recipes or flavors that really hit a home run in your mouth? What do you think about this new take on a classic salad?