14 August 2011

Pesto Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad Caught Their Eye

Pesto Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

As seen on Honest Cooking...

With social media at an all time high the opportunity to enter contests for fabulous trips, washers and dryers and "everything but the kitchen sink" is something I find myself drawn to. The thought of free trips, kitchen appliances and dinner out really appeals to me..it probably appeals to you too! It is the same reason I buy lottery tickets, even if the chances are "slim to none".  After all someone has to win!! You can't win if you don't enter...right.

With the influence of my friend Judi of The Last Wonton I have been inspired and even entered a couple of food contests lately. Imagine my surprise when I was a finalist, and then the winner of "The Best Pesto" recipe in a recent contest over at Whole Foods. For those of you who read these pages you are well aware of my love for pesto!!The people at Whole Foods associated with Food 52 prepared a few recipes they found interesting and this tasty little salad came out on top. I have posted this recipe before, and with a few minor changes it caught the eye of the judges.

Bocconcini, literally "little mouthfuls" in Italian, are bite-size balls of fresh mozzarella. Pair them with sun-ripened cherry tomatoes and your favourite pesto and you have one of the simplest and most delicious salads known to man. This time around I added Greek yogurt as a binder. In my previous recipe this was omitted but I thought it would give the pesto dressing a creamy consistency for a smoother finish.

The Judges Version

Back to the Future....

Over four years of blogging I have found many wonderful recipes to share on these pages. Some from my own kitchen, some from your creative blogs and web sites, and some from well known celebrities and chefs. I have been feeling a little nostalgic and was browsing these very pages just the other day, creeping back to the very beginning in 2006 when More Than Burnt Toast was in it's infancy and no more than "knee high to grasshopper". We all have those stellar recipes from when we first started when we were lucky enough to find one comment and have maybe one reader; in my case even before I was taking photos of the dishes I prepared. My other motivation for reconnecting with the past is to create uniform formatting on this blog and this is a fun way for me to revisit past posts.

So here are a couple of flashback recipes from the very first baby steps here at MTBT with...

 **Pesto Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad**
  • 8 ounces (200 grams) mini bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls)
  • 2 cartons (28 oz/792 grams) cherry tomatoes
  • 8 tablespoons basil pesto (recipe below or use your favourite)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, drained
  • 1/4 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Drain the bocconcini. Pat dry. If you were unable to find the small bocconcini, cut them in half to match the size of the tomatoes. Rinse and pat dry the cherry tomatoes. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt.. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for at least one hour to allow flavours to marry.


 Place the walnuts, pignoli, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Serves 4

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. I've had this recipe of yours for awhile and we've enjoyed it many times. It has long been a winner in my book. Congratulations!


  2. I love this recipe Vall, look delicious and love your plate, you know I love blue plates, xxgloria

  3. Congrats! That is definitely a winner salad.



  4. Prettiest Caprese salad that I have seen!

  5. Beautiful Caprese and Congrats on the Contest win :)

  6. I would never have thought to add yogurt to pesto.

  7. Wow! Super congrats, Val, I'm so happy for you! I love how simple this is. With pesto, all you really need is some tomatoes and mozz to have a tasty meal!

  8. Yeahy, congratulations! Lovely to see people getting a bit recognition every now and then. Your salad looks fab. Love pesto!

  9. Wonderfull your blog...
    I love your recipes.
    I have added to your followers because of the content offered is very interesting and pleasant to read.
    If you like, go and see, you're welcome.
    The magic pumpkin

  10. What a lovely salad, Val. I'm not surprised it was an award winner. Congratulations. I'm on my way to check the early recipes you are also sharing with us today. Have a great day.Blessings...Mary

  11. Walnuts and pinenuts. Looks great. Lots of nuts in that recipe.

  12. Congratulations, that's a winning recipe for sure!

  13. Val, what an honor! And no wonder, that salad is a beauty and a classic. Congrats!

  14. I've never thought about adding yogurt for extra creaminess. What a brilliant idea!

  15. This one is screaming my name!

  16. Hey - that's awesome news! Clearly they know greatness when they see it ;o) Definitely going to try this at home - so simple and so yummy!

  17. Congratulations, Val!! You make such delectable things you deserve it! :-) This looks so fresh and wonderful. :-)

  18. Congratulations on the win Val...well deserved. This is my all time favourite summer salad combo!

  19. Congrats Val...now win a trip to New York.

    This salad is always a favorite at our home.

  20. Too much yummy all on one plate....like summer in a dish! Congratulations too!

  21. Cool! Congrats Val!
    Looks delicious, well-deserved.

  22. Congratulations! It is indeed a beautiful salad! If only I could find really good fresh mozzarella more often! When I do, this will be what I make!

  23. Simple but completely lovely! I can understand why this beautiful salad came out on top :D
    *kisses* HH

  24. Congratulations Val, that is fabulous and that salad looks divine. One of my favourites with out pesto. Can just imagine how great it is with pesto. Mmmmmmmmm :P

  25. Yay, yay, yay...congratulations Val!

  26. Congratulations; it's a great feeling to win at something you love, and are talented at. This salad looks beautiful, and is one of my favorite Summer treats.

  27. atta girl, val--it's an impressive and unique caprese salad, to be sure. yogurt? excellent!

  28. Congratulations, Val! We have been enjoying Caprese salads recently with the cherry tomatoes ripening quickly now. I love the sound of this one with the pesto and Greek yogurt. It does sound like a winner!

  29. Looks so yummy and I WANT that plate! :)

  30. Yes, indeed... this is a winner~congrats to you! this recipe will go in my file!


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