There is nothing quite like fresh Mozzarella. Recently, since moving from San Antonio to Austin, I have become a little spoiled to the assortment of grocery stores within my 3-mile radius. With a Sprouts and Central Market less than 2 miles from my house it makes going to the slightly less expensive HEB seem miles away. (It’s only 3 miles away, but it feels like FOREVER!) You can tell a girl is a little addicted to cooking when she gets excited about the grocery stores in her neighborhood! While on a Central Market shopping spree, I came across what they claimed to be “Fresh, In-house made Mozzarella!” My mind immediately drifted back to a late-night dinner Cohl and I had in Rome, Italy last summer while backpacking through Europe. He, of course, was able to order the deliciously gluten-laden pepperoni pizza, while I was stuck ordering a simple Caprese salad. When our meals came out I found myself so incredibly jealous of my husbands ooey, gooey, greasy pizza. As I gazed down at my measly looking salad my expectations were anything but high. I took my first bite… my mind was immediately changed. Never had I ever tasted tomatoes bursting with so much flavor, mozzarella cheese that seemed to melt in your mouth, and was that balsamic?!? Because it tasted a little more like a sugary syrup they drizzled over the whole thing.
So, as I stood there in that Central Market produce section, I knew I would be making a Caprese salad. With Utopiafest coming up (yes, yes, I know I’m still talking about that music festival, but I promise–this is the last recipe from it!) I wanted to make something we could keep cold and eat on and off throughout the day. By combining the bold flavors of a traditional caprese salad with hunger satisfying quinoa, I had a feeling we had hit the jackpot. This dish will serve an army due to it’s filling nature. It’s great to make on a Sunday and eat for lunch throughout the week. If it’s just you, I would halve the recipe and you will have plenty! Hope you enjoy!