It’s officially tomato season and we are celebrating by making Caprese crostini with these fabulous heirlooms and a balsamic glaze.
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Caprese Salad (also known as Insalata Caprese) originated in Italy in the Isle of Capri. You can learn a bit more about the history of Caprese Salad here.
Growing up, we had close family friends (basically my second parents) who met in Rome. Pepe was born and raised in Italy and Linda, his wife, is Korean American, but spent years in Italy learning the language and culture.
In their kitchen I learned how to make ravioli from scratch, what real Parmesan cheese tastes like, and had my first Caprese Salad.
Thank you to Linda and Pepe for always sharing your love of food and bringing a piece of Rome into my life!
These Caprese Crostini are 100% inspired by Linda and Pepe.
One of my favorite parts of summer is experiencing all the fresh, local produce. Working at a farm stand for 4 years as a teenager really helped stamp this produce related memory in my mind.
The season is usually ushered in with berries at the end of May/beginning of June. Then the stone fruit come rolling in with peaches, plums, apricots and cherries.
And finally, the tomatoes and peppers.
When I saw these heirlooms at our local farm stand, there was no way I could pass them up.
I mean, look at them...
If you can’t find heirlooms, any local tomato will do great!
If you’re into all the summer flavors of these Caprese Crostini but not eating dairy/animal products, I’ve got a couple options for you.
Back in the early 2000’s when it first started popping up in the grocery stores, vegan cheese was bleak. Many of them had a strange flavor and even stranger texture that turned people off.
Fast forward a decade and a half later, and vegan cheese is making a comeback.
This vegan mozzarella recipe looks like it has both an awesome texture and great flavor. It would word well with tomatoes, basil and balsamic.
If you’re 100% not willing to try vegan cheese, you can leave out the cheese altogether and use avocado instead.
I know, you’re probably thinking “avocado tastes nothing like cheese!”
And you’re right. It doesn’t taste like cheese, but it has that creamy, buttery consistency that holds up magically next to the juicy tomatoes and fresh basil. Just trust me on this one.