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Instead of tomatoes, Deborah uses sweet summer strawberries in this creative twist on a traditional caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and tangy balsamic vinegar. Brooke, Recipe Hunter

Brooke Jackson-Glidden, NoshOnIt Recipe Hunter

THE RECIPE

Strawberry Caprese Salad

Strawberries and basil: A summery match made in heaven

Summer has arrived, and you know what that means: the great salad search has begun. You want to utilize all the beautiful warm weather produce rolling in to the farmer’s market, but if you eat one more green salad, you’ll scream. That’s why we love the classic Italian caprese: tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and olive oil is all you need for this sophisticated salad that celebrates the simple. The fragrant sweetness of basil naturally pairs well with balsamic vinegar, and any salad with cheese as a starring role is bound to be a show-stopper. Deborah of Delicious Happens mixes things up in her caprese by trading tomatoes for fresh-from-the-market strawberries and adding walnuts for a healthy crunch. Strawberry and balsamic may initially seem strange, but trust us: the acidity of vinegar cuts the sweetness of the strawberries, while highlighting the natural fruitiness of both ingredients. With the new bumper crop of dazzling strawberries appearing in produce stands, Deborah’s creative twist on a time-old favorite is a perfect addition to the summer table.

THE CHEF

Deborah Duncan

Recipe Developer and Photographer

Deborah Duncan from Delicious Happens

I sort of follow the K.I.S.S. rule in the kitchen. Keep it simple sweetheart. I cook with fresh wholesome foods, little sugar, low fat, and I like simple recipes. The more simple and natural the dish is, the better.

Deborah’s blog, Delicious Happens, illustrates the power of a simple dish with a dash of creativity. Throughout her recipes, Deborah reinvents the classics with her own personal twist, from a berry trifle to chicken piccata. With an easy switch of ingredients or preparation method, Deborah elevates her dishes to a level of sophistication you wouldn’t think possible of your old go-to salad or dessert. Without pretense or excess, Deborah creates easy, accessible meals that taste like home. Each recipe reflects her personal experience with food from her Newport Beach kitchen, with a nod to a local restaurant or a childhood memory. Her resulting collection of recipes remind us of the foods on which we were raised, the foods that reignite flavors we had lost, until the plate is clean. And when that happens, there’s always another to try tomorrow night.

Head over to Delicious Happens and say hello to Deborah on Facebook and Pinterest.

THE TIP

How to Store Fresh Basil

There are a lot of techniques out there on how to store fresh basil. We've tried them all and this method works best to keep basil fresh for a week or more.

Read the full tip >

  • Haley

    This looks amazing, but I bet it would be even better with fresh goat cheese.