Farm Fresh Caprese Salad

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One thing I miss about living in Washington is the variety of farms and fresh produce. There’s nothing better than a juicy Honeycrisp apple straight from the orchard in the fall. I was excited (and surprised) to hear about a farm here in Las Vegas where you can pick fruits and vegetables right from the source.

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Gilcrease Orchard offers a nice break from the brown, dry desert. It was fun to walk through the fields and orchard, looking for the freshest produce. We went home with some beautiful tomatoes. I will definitely be back in the fall when there are pumpkins and apple cider doughnuts!

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We decided to put the fresh tomatoes to good use and make a refreshing caprese salad. Since we had one tomato left from the grocery store, I used that, too. The difference between the tomatoes from the store and the farm was amazing! Physically, those from the farm were darker in color, juicier, softer and had more seeds. The store-bought tomato was easier to slice because it was firmer, but when it came to taste, it was kind of plain and watery. Lesson learned – farm fresh is much more flavorful! Even Rob, who is happy with non-organic produce from Walmart, was genuinely shocked at the difference. Because this salad is so simple, top-quality tomatoes and mozzarella are important and very noticeable.

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Farm Fresh Caprese Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • fine sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

On a large platter, evenly space out tomato slices. Top with mozzarella sliced and then basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and/or pepper.

Fall in Washington

You can’t beat fall in Washington. Living in Las Vegas has made me appreciate it even more. It’s hard to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks when it is still 80 degrees outside or carve pumpkins to put outside your front door when there are palm trees in your yard. Plus the selection of pumpkins and fresh produce can’t compare. When I took a trip home in September I made sure to stop by Snohomish where fall was definitely in the air! Below are a few photos from my trip that I wanted to share. Hope they help everyone get into the seasonal spirit :)

20131006-115614.jpgMy boyfriend wanted to buy his mom some Honeycrisp apples for her birthday, so we went on an apple hunt and were very successful. It was so fun to see the farm houses, fields and fresh produce. 20131006-115629.jpgAnother favorite feature of fall? Wearing boots!! 20131006-115648.jpgPretty pumpkins :) 20131006-115827.jpgI see apple pie in my future… 20131006-115956.jpg

20131006-120058.jpgA cozy blanket, pumpkin spice latte and Daisie curled up on my lap is the perfect morning!20131006-120658.jpg

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20131006-120810.jpgI love the small town feel of downtown Snohomish. Complete with cute cupcake shops, trendy boutiques and adorable home decor stores, I could walk up and down the riverside main street for hours.

Happy Fall!