WanderFood Wednesday: Traditional Caprese Salad

by Samantha Scott
( July 29th, 2014 )

Caprese Salad with Basil and Vinegar

One of my favorite summer meals is a fresh traditional Caprese salad. Heirloom tomatoes have a limited season, and are one of the true joys of summer for me. Another fantastic find at farmers markets, they are just perfect right now!

It only takes a quick journey through Pinterest to find out just how many iterations of Caprese are out there, all worth trying. But a traditional Caprese salad will always have a special place in my heart, hearkening up memories of backyard BBQ’s home from school for the summer, using home-grown freshly picked tomatoes and basil. This salad is a perfect accompaniment to BBQ steak, paired with a deep and flavorful red wine. Enjoy!

Whole Farmers Market Heirloom Tomatoes

1. Cut two or three medium Heirloom tomatoes into slices, about 1/4 inch thick.

Caprese Salad Heirloom Tomatoes

2. Arrange on a long thin platter, white helps show off their bright colors!

Caprese Salad Step Three

3. Cut fresh mozzarella into slices, also about 1/4 inch thick and arrange on platter in-between tomato slices.

Caprese Salad Step Four

4. Chop a good amount of fresh basil and sprinkle over tomatoes and mozzarella. 5. Add a generous amount of fresh cracked black pepper and a pinch of sea salt.

Caprese with Balsamic Vinegar and Basil

6. Lastly drizzle with good-quality balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

Caprese Salad


1) Use the freshest, firmest heirlooms you can find. Heirloom tomatoes can tend to get very soft very quickly when their not truly in season, and often the ones you find at the grocery story have an unappetizing mushy, mealy quality, so definitely give your local farmers market a try!

2) Use good mozzarella. If you can, seek out a local cheese shop and ask what they recommend. We used Cowgirl Creamery (you may remember my Unhealthy Obsession with Artisan Cheese), and it was, as always, delicious.

3) Make sure your knife is very sharp. Heirlooms are soft by nature and can sometimes be difficult to cut cleanly. Having a nice, sharp knife makes all the difference!

Eat Well, Travel Well ~Samantha

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WanderFood Wednesday: How Not to Miss Food From Home When You’re Traveling

by Samantha Scott
( July 22nd, 2014 )


No to Burger and Fries Abroad

Recently I came across a BuzzFeed article entitled 17 Foods American’s Miss While Living in Europe. I was struck by this idea because it implies a lack of interest in the food of wherever you’re visiting. Yes comfort food is called that for a reason, and there are things we miss that some might think trite or silly but are meaningful to us. That said, learning to adapt and absorbing a culture is part of the experience of travel and nowhere is this more profound than in tasting the food of a new country or region.

Through food we are literally able to taste another culture. We get a sense of how a people has adapted to living in their specific environment. We are introduced to new ways of appreciating food, and new customs of how to eat. It goes beyond simple politeness to try what you’re offered, embracing the cuisine of another culture. It is essential to gaining a deeper appreciation of a place and its people.

If you’re doing nothing but seeking out familiar flavors you are cheating yourself out of a truly immersive experience. In particular if you are not going to be in a place for long, food is an immediate way to introduce yourself to where you are.

I don’t mean to diminish to phenomenon of homesickness. We’ve all experienced this, and it is one of the most painful emotions to go through. And it is true that one of the best ways to combat homesickness is to find somewhere, someone or something familiar. It helps us relax and not feel so alone. Because food is so intrinsically linked with our culture it is natural that we should want to taste something that reminds us of home.

What we forget, however, is that the serving and eating of a meal is a communal activity around the world. So to battle homesickness, it is crucial to find people to eat with. This helps establish a sense of normalcy while you taste foods that may seem foreign or strange.

The foods we miss will be waiting for us. You may even find you end up missing the food you had abroad more than the food from home!

Do you struggle with craving food from home when you’re abroad? How do you combat the desire for familiar food while traveling?

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

Photo Credit: Hungry Dudes via Flickr

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Farmers Market Meals

by Samantha Scott
( July 21st, 2014 )

Fresh Farmers Market Meal

Last week, I posted a list of Farmers Market Tips, and here is one of my favorite Farmers Market Meals to make!

I love doing a really simple stir-fry, putting it over pasta or just having it on its own.  Best thing about this is the ingredients can change depending on what ’s fresh!

It’s one of the greatest ways to showcase the beautiful flavors of farm fresh ingredients, and doesn’t take long to prepare.

1. Chop all vegetables to give yourself an idea of how much you have and what you’re using. This is also the time to put a pot of water on to boil if you’d like to serve over pasta.

2. Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan on medium to low heat.

3. Once the butter is melted and coating the entire surface of the pan, add anything you want to brown, or anything that might take a little longer. For me this is usually mushrooms or halved brussel sprouts. Give them enough time to get fully browned, flipping once.

Browning Mushrooms

4. Add all other veggies except tomatoes. These will go in near the end. Give a big stir, add a small dash of salt, and let simmer.

5. Add chopped garlic and stir again.

6. If I’m planning to put my stir fry over pasta, this is usually the time when the water is boiling and I can put the pasta in.

7. If you are using tomatoes, add them now. The pan will be hot enough so they will cook but maintain flavor and some shape.

Farmers Market Stir Fry

8. Drain pasta and put on a plate in layers, alternating with your delicious Farmers Market stir-fry, so that every bite is full of different flavors!

Farmers Market Meal

Do you have some favorite Farmers Market meals to make with your market finds?

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

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