This is the weekend we say goodbye to summer, isn’t it?
Rather than having a relaxing LDW at the lake, we’re making a quick trip up to Long Island tomorrow for a wedding, driving back after the reception, and flying to Louisville on Sunday morning for an engagement party.
I know what you’re thinking. My capacity to celebrate other people’s happiness is much greater than you would have expected. Snaps for Erin.
We actually only had 4 weddings this year compared to last year’s 8, so it seemed pretty tame. We went to my cousin Kristin’s a few weeks ago and it was amazing.
I know, Kevin is taller than me even when I have heels on. I don’t want to talk about it.
I do want to talk about this kickass heirloom tomato salad served at the reception. Now, weddings can be notorious for having really bad food. Last year I went to one where the chicken was so bland that all the wedding guests were cracking open their favors of Old Bay seasoning and dumping it all over the plate. Yikes.
But this heirloom and burrata salad they served at Kristin and Branden’s wedding was not just the best salad I’ve had at a wedding, but one of the best versions of caprese EVER. So I decided to recreate it as the first course of my birthday dinner on Sunday.
Heirloom Tomato Salad
3 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 balls of fresh mozzarella or burrata*
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 pinch crushed red pepper
sea salt and pepper
I trolled all over Baltimore for good looking heirlooms and was coming up empty, so we ultimately bit the bullet and went to Whole Foods. They had them, of course. A quick $14 for tomatoes, but it was my birthday so who cares.
In keeping with Whole Foods theme of astronomical prices, they wanted $9.99 for one ball of burrata. JUST ONE. So that’s why I went with fresh mozz instead. Now, this week I hit up Trader Joes in DC and got two balls of burrata for $4.99, so just shop wisely.
(If you’re wondering what the difference is, burrata is basically mozzarella but with fresh cream on the inside. Almost like a mozzarella ball stuffed with ricotta. It’s heavenly, but you would serve it on top of the tomatoes rather than slicing it like I did here.)
On the wedding menu, the salad was described as being drizzled with a “basil coulis.” I’m not actually positive what “coulis” is intended to be, but to me it tasted like pesto without the nuts and cheese. I threw a bunch of basil into the blender with a clove of garlic, pinch of CRP, and drizzled in the oil while it blended. It worked.
The main course was tilapia with mango salsa, similar to this recipe.
Here’s hoping this weekend’s happy couples ply me with high quality cheese.