Romano Caprese Salad
As much as tradition might suggest that a day is not complete without meat, there are definitely both options and science that prove that you can exist quite well without eating meat every day. And if those options are exceptionally delicious and easy to prepare, you might well find yourself indulging in a meatless Monday more often than your traditional heart might dictate. Today’s Romano Caprese Salad recipe is one of those dead-easy, delicious and nutritious dinner options that will make you think of driving in Italy, spring patios, and lazy afternoons.
- 1 19-0z. can of Romano beans, well drained. (You can also use red or white kidney beans, or even a bean medley – whatever you have handy in the pantry).
- A couple dozen “mini mini” bocconcini cheese balls. If you can’t find these, you can use small cubes of mozzarella or other mild cheese instead.
- 12-20 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1-2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped – or dried basil, if you bought it recently and it still has that great fragrance.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced. (Don’t use garlic powder – you need fresh garlic for this one)
- Some extra-virgin olive oil
- Some balsamic vinegar – flavored or not. I used blood orange-infused balsamic this time, but any good balsamic vinegar works.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the beans, and in a colander, rinse them well under cold running water.
- Put the beans in a flat-bottomed glass or ceramic dish. This will ensure you get everything evenly marinated.
- Halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes (depending on how big they are) and add them to the beans.
- Add the bocconcini.
- Add the minced garlic – freshly pressed if you have it (the jarred stuff can get a bit too pungent)
- Drizzle on some olive oil – about 2-3 tbsp should do.
- Sprinkle on the basil over everything.
- Sprinkle on about 2-3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar over everything.
- Thoroughly stir the mixture – careful, not too violently. You don’t want to smash up the beans. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
- You could eat it now, but go ahead and cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate for anywhere from ½ an hour to overnight in the fridge.
Serve your Romano Caprese Salad, and garnish with some fresh basil, if you like. This recipe feeds two people – but it’s easy to double or triple it, if you have visitors or kids still at home. We often have a couple pieces of delicious toasted bread, spread with plain butter, alongside. (Remember – probably the best GF bread in town is at Save-On Foods – the Western Family brand. You’ll find it in their frozen foods section, but you don’t have to freeze it! It stays fluffy for days on your counter – just like bread is supposed to).