Caprese salads are one of the favorites of summer; some of us like them year round. But there is something about the taste of summer tomatoes that makes them vivid reminders of just how much we love home-grown tomatoes. These recipes help to make those memories solid.
Chicken Caprese Pasta
1 (9-oz) package fresh or dried linguine
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (use less if you don’t want that much meat involved)
Fresh Herb Pesto
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into 1/2-inch pieces.
1. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large Dutch oven, adding salt once water comes to a boil. Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking water.
2. Wipe Dutch oven clean, and add olive oil. Heat oil over medium-high. Add tomatoes to hot oil, and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add shallot, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
3. Add chicken, pasta, Fresh Herb Pesto, and 1/2 cup of reserved cooking water to tomato mixture, stirring to combine. Gradually stir in remaining cooking water, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
4. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with basil and mozzarella. Serve immediately.
Fresh Herb Pesto
Process 4 1/2 oz. finely shredded Parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, 3/4 cup fresh chives, cut into 2-inch pieces, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 1 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Use immediately, or cover and chill up to 1 day.
(Source: Southern Living)
Cherry Tomato BrusChetta
Combine 2 pints cherry tomatoes and 4 tablespoons olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over high. Cook, stirring often, until tomatoes are mostly broken down, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt until melted. (*See note below) Remove from heat. Serve hot with crusty bread and top with torn fresh basil.
* I think you could just use salted butter here and forgo the added salt)
(Source; Southern Living)
Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 25 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.