I know…”sunshine plate”, isn’t exactly what you would call a descriptive title, but it’s all I think about when I see this. “Cucumber, Strawberry, Pineapple and Mozzarella Plate” just doesn’t fit how delicious this is.
Confession time, sometimes, this is all I want for lunch. I know, it’s lacking in iron and zinc and a little low on protein, but it’s high in antioxidants and fiber, which is a total bonus when I’m set on a meat filled dinner. This is all I need sometimes.
Can you tell I’m ready for summer? Thanks to greenhouses all over, fresh veggies and fruit are grown all times of the year and while it’s a little early for strawberries, these are perfectly ripe. So, why the cheese? First, I loved how all of the colors went together and second, I needed another texture. It’s also nice for satiety to have a little extra fat in a salad.
If using this for a side, this serves 4. However, like most of my recipes, it’s easy to go up or down on the yield. Cucumbers, strawberries, and pineapple have a high water content, so it’s perfect for a day when extra hydration is needed. Most people don’t think about fluid that comes from their food. It’s not just about how many ounces of water you’ve had in a day, fruits and veggies count too.
So, how about that glaze? One of my favorite ways to add sweetness without drizzling straight honey is to reduce balsamic vinegar. Now, balsamic vinegar is from grapes, so there are natural sugars in there. You might be thinking – vinegar? gross. Trust me on this one. When it reduces, it turns into a thick glaze that you will be licking out of the pan (or maybe that’s just me).
- 1 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 2 cups sliced pineapple
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar, reduced in half (or 2.5 tablespoons of store bought balsamic glaze)
- Slice cucumber, strawberries, pineapple and cheese and arrange on small platter
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add balsamic vinegar
- When vinegar starts to simmer, turn heat down slightly - avoid boiling
- Allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by at least half (the longer it simmers, the thicker it gets) - it will be done when the vinegar can coat the back of a spoon
- Allow to cool slightly - not too long, or it will continue to evaporate and thicken
- Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the salad
- Serve immediately