Strawberry caprese cups

Stripped-back meals are the order of the day here at TDB HQ. It’s the best time of year to have that kind of constraint, with produce tasting good enough on its own that all it takes is a decent pairing and a sprinkle of salt.

That’s not to say that we’ll be without treats. You may have already noticed a new name around here – Sophie‘s recipes will be popping up regularly, and there are some beautiful bakes in the pipeline. I hope you all like chocolate!

Why so little time? Well, next month I’m leaving London. After nearly five years of sweaty tube rides, balanced out with access to gorgeous food and never being more than five minutes away from a coffee shop, I’m getting a train outta here. And then getting another train via London a couple of weeks later, but that’s not the point.

What this means is that I’m typing this surrounded by piles of clothes, books, and boxes, ready for my life to be shipped back to Norfolk while I live with the bare minimum for a few weeks. It should be an easy task – but when your boyfriend lives in the deep dark north of England, you have to have winter-ready jumpers available always, as well as clothing that’ll allow you armpits to catch any whisper of breeze on the central line. It turns out packing with that in mind is tricky.

So it’s time for summer produce to shine, and a strawberry caprese allows just that, with the classic strawberry balsamic pairing making their sweetness sing. I ate it over two days, once in lettuce cups – I was feeling unusually virtuous – and the next day with pasta.

For one serving, you’ll want a generous handful of strawberries, chopped, half a ball of decent mozzarella, torn, and about 7 large basil leaves, also torn. Toss these together and season as you wish. For the balsamic glaze, reduce about 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar with half a tsp of maple syrup, until thick. Serve with pasta or in gem lettuce leaves.