When I think about Valentine’s Day, I think about chocolate and strawberries and… salad?
Okay, I usually don’t think about salad… but what if it is a luscious, decadent caprese salad with a sweet balsamic reduction drizzled over thick slices of ripe tomato, fragrant basil leaves, and of course, fresh, creamy mozzarella cheese.
Now that is one sexy plate of food if you ask me!
This Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating #FoodBloggerLove, which is a virtual event where we’ve banded together with other bloggers to show a little love and appreciate for our fellow recipe taste-testers. Plus, there’s a giveaway (keep reading) AND on top of that, we’re raising money for an awesome charity, No Kid Hungry. Go donate now to keep some little tummies filled with food – every dollar counts!
Today, I’m showing a little love to Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings. I thought this caprese salad with sweet balsamic reduction would be the perfect recipe to post in honor of Cindy because in addition to cooking and baking, she loves gardening and even writes for several gardening newspaper columns. We think she’s extra-cool because she’s from our neck of the woods – Pennsylvania! Well, I live in Virginia now, but my mom in sister still live in Central PA, and I lived in the Poconos for about 5 years before moving south. I’m sad that our paths never crossed when I still lived up there!
Okay, back to this caprese salad, and the real star of this dish, the sweet balsamic reduction… If you want to make this a really decadent meal, you can do this version of a caprese that Cindy published, which includes a little protein – steak to be exact! And if you want to be a little cheesy, go ahead and arrange the ingredients in a heart shape. That’s a little far even for me haha, but I have to admit, I was tempted just to see the look on my fiance’s face!
The key to a great caprese salad is to use the best ingredients you can afford. That means if you’re like Cindy, you’ll want to pick what you can from your garden (well… as soon as it gets warm out there again!), and buy ingredients at local farmer’s markets if possible.
This recipe makes lots of extra balsamic reduction so you can store it in your fridge and drizzle it over everything for the next week or so – we put it on traditional salads, chicken, steak, sandwiches, even fish.
Looking for something a little sweeter this Valentine’s Day? Try out Cindy’s Meyer Lemon Curd Puffs. They look divine, and we can’t wait to make this recipe ourselves!
Remember that giveaway I mentioned? Well, all you have to do is share ANY #FoodBloggerLove recipe (see the list below) on ANY social network, and you can get extra entries if you follow the other #FoodBloggerLove bloggers to entire and you could win a brand new Kindle Fire! I hope that lights your fire this Valentine’s Day. You can enter daily, so make sure to come back during the rest of the week to increase your chances. We’ll pick a random winner on February 15.
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And here’s the other recipes being posted today to help celebrate #FoodBloggerLove:
Here’s the caprese salad and sweet balsamic reduction recipe if you want to make it for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day:
The perfect decadent caprese salad.
- 1 ripe tomato, sliced
- 4 thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
- 4-5 large basil leaves
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Stir together vinegar and brown sugar over medium-high heat. Just as vinegar is about to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until mixture is reduced by half.
- Remove from heat and chill.
- Arrange tomato slices, cheese, and basil on a plate.
- Drizzle with balsamic reduction.
Store the leftover balsamic reduction for 1-2 weeks in your refrigerator. Can be drizzled on sandwiches, salads, chicken, steak, and more.
Thank you for being our Valentine’s Day inspiration, Cindy. Everyone go check out her blog and don’t forget to follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram! Oh, and if you’re a food blogger who wants to join us for upcoming blogger events, make sure you add your name and email address so we can let you know when they will be taking place: