Thursday, July 26, 2012

Basil, Tomato, Mozzarella Salad

I bought some beautiful tomatoes and purple basil from the farmer's market today.
I was really craving cheese so when I stumbled upon some grass fed mozzarella I bought that too. Keeping up with ww has made my relationship with cheese go through a rough it was time. But I decided to make a healthy salad for dinner. To make it more hearty I served it over some cooked spelt. This salad was delicious. The only thing I will change next time is that I will not mix all ingredients together at once, instead I will gently toss in the beans and cheese at the end. Because the beans were canned and the cheese was so fresh they started to fall apart with the mixing. I had wanted all the ingredients to marinate together while the spelt took its lovely time cooking (1 hour+!!). But I learned my lesson about this.

This spelt was leftover from my winter csa. Let me tell you, letting it do its' thing is worth it. This was a lesson I learned back in December. You don't want to eat crunchy spelt-- you will end up with a headache.

Serves 6 (1 cup servings)
ww points = salad alone (5 points); salad with arugula and 1/2 cup cooked spelt (7 points)

1 1/8 lbs mixed baby tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters depending upon size
1/2 c basil, chopped
freshly grated black pepper, to taste
1/2 t freshly grated sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 14.5 oz can navy beans, rinsed
10 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ~1/4 inch cubes
arugula, 5 big handfuls

1. Mix tomatoes, basil, black pepper, sea salt, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Allow salad to marinate in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to an hour (or more if desired)*, stirring occasionally.
2. Before serving mix in navy beans and cheese.
3. Serve over arugula with a grain like spelt on the side if desired.

*This salad could really be made in advance, the night before or morning of serving. The longer the salad sits the flavors will mold together.  Just be sure to toss in the cheese and beans right at the end.

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