Summer and backyard BBQs are just around the corner. Brighten things up and serve something wonderfully simple, delicious, and healthy…a caprese salad perhaps. Grab your reusable bags and take a stroll through the farmer’s market, pick up some aromatic heirloom tomatoes, perfectly sweet strawberries, and fresh basil, and you are well on your way to creating a masterpiece.

TOMATO + AVOCADO CAPRESE SALAD

Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free

Recipe by Jentry Lee Hull

CAPRESE INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced about ¼ in. thick
  • 2-3 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced about ¼ in. thick
  • 6 strawberries, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Balsamic vinegar (4% acidity), drizzle on top
  • Olive oil, drizzle on top
  • Pesto (Recipe below)
  • Kite Hill Ricotta, crumble on top (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

PESTO INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups basil leaves, packed
  • 1 cup baby kale, packed
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews or blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp. pink salt, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. almond milk

CAPRESE METHOD

  • Remove stems from tomatoes and slice. Place in an even layer on a serving dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Depending on the size of your serving dish and personal preference, you can double or single layer your caprese salad.
  • Carefully cut each avocado, widthwise, tracing the perimeter of the pit. Gently twist the avocado in half, remove the pit and peel. Slice into ¼ in. thick pieces.
  • Place an avocado slice on top of each tomato slice. Drizzle with lemon juice. Double up on the layers if you have extra tomato and avocado slices.
  • Place thinly sliced strawberries on each tomato/avocado stack.
  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil followed by a sprinkle of salt and pepper, if desired. Add a dollop of pesto to the center of each stack and garnish with Kite Hill Ricotta (optional).
  • Best if served immediately. If serving later, add more lemon juice (to prevent the avocado from browning), cover and store in the fridge.

PESTO METHOD

  • Combine basil, baby kale, nuts, garlic, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped.
  • Slowly add olive oil and almond milk, while blending the mixture until the texture becomes creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides as you go.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Thrive on,

Coach Jentry