Caprese Pasta Salad with homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
by Jes Mostek

Balsamic Marinade or Dressing
by Jes Mostek
serves: 8
  A robust and tangy sauce or salad dressing that is full on flavor.
  5 T.   balsamic vinegar
  2 T.   corn syrup (or sugar)
  1 T.   lemon juice
  1/2 c   olive oil
  2 cloves   garlic, minced (or tsp. powder for each clove)
  1 tsp.   ground mustard
  1/2 tsp.   onion powder
    salt and pepper to taste
  Juice and zest (grate the yellow part of the rind) the lemon. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and spices.

Use as a salad dressing. To marinate meat, pour over meat and add water to completely submerge meat. Marinate chicken or shrimp for 30 min. Marinate beef up to overnight. Discard used marinade.

Basic recipe yields 1 c., or 8- 2 T. servings
Caprese Pasta Salad
by Jes Mostek
serves: 8
  Creamy fresh Mozzarella, sweet, ripe tomatoes, and springy, bright fresh basil make this a perfect pasta salad for spring and summer!
  1 box   whole wheat bow tie pasta
  2 pints   grape tomatoes
  2 pkgs.   fresh Mozzarella
  1 bunch   fresh basil, chopped
  1 c.   Balsamic dressing
  1 bag   baby spinach salad
  Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and rinse with cold water. When the pasta is cool, add tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella pearls (or cube large chunk of fresh Mozzarella). Toss with chopped fresh basil and Balsamic dressing.

Place a handful of baby spinach leaves on each plate. Top with pasta salad. Garnish with a sprig of basil, if desired.