caprese pasta salad with basil vinaigrette 1 (800x450)

Rebar Modern Food Cookbook (800x800)Jess sent me a message via Facebook last year asking me for my mailing address but not telling me why. When the rebar modern food cookbook arrived on my doorstep I was pleasantly surprised with Jess’ gift. It’s a collection of recipes from a renowned restaurant in Victoria, British Columbia. I’ve been reading and rereading the cookbook but wasn’t sure just which recipe to start with. The section about the salads is especially appealing but I’m also looking forward to trying many of the soup recipes. This dressing recipe is described as one of their most requested recipes at the restaurant so I decided that’s where I wanted to start. I have very high hopes for the rest of the recipes in this cookbook.

The salad dressing is really star of the show but here I’ve paired it with a pasta salad containing cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and fresh mozzarella to build a fabulous caprese pasta salad. I think that the ratio of the vinegar to oil in the recipe could be adjusted because this recipe yields  a highly oily dressing. If you don’t adjust it I recommend a good quality olive oil to ensure good results.

Basil Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or champagne vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil

Add all the ingredients except the olive oil to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil and blend until thick and creamy.

(I used my blender and tried adding the olive oil through the opening on the lid and I had little dots of green all over myself and the kitchen. I ended up dumping the rest of olive oil in all at once and blended with the lid completely on.)

Taste and add more salt or pepper to taste. Store refrigerated in a glass jar up to 3 days.

caprese pasta salad with basil vinaigrette (800x798)

This pasta salad was made for a family cookout and I wanted to keep it vegetarian but wished I had added crumbled bacon to it. I’m sure the bacon would have elevated this pasta salad to heavenly.