We’ve long said that there are two things you should never, ever make in the winter: BLTs, and caprese salads. The reasoning? Summer tomatoes are so glorious, they deserve to be the star of the show, and winter tomatoes in the past have seemed totally humdrum. But Martha Stewart, who we trust with all things food, might just change our mind. She just shared a recipe for a winter caprese salad made with tangerines, mozzarella, and, yes, tomatoes. But according to Martha Stewart Living Senior Food Editor Lauryn Tyrell, we don’t need to be scared of winter tomatoes any more. “With great hothouse tomatoes available, you can enjoy this dish year-round,” she told Stewart, and we’re inclined to believe these two food powerhouses.
Using hothouse tomatoes is just one of the things that makes this caprese salad something you could actually serve in the winter months. The other? Tangerines. Citrus is in season this time of year, so it’s at its brightest and juiciest, and the pairing of winter tomatoes and tangerines works surprisingly well together. Both have a bit of acidity, and the sweetness of the tangerines helps make up for any lacking in the tomatoes.
There’s torn mozzarella, of course, which adds a milky richness to the salad, and then a couple of changes. Instead of balsamic vinegar, which is often used in a summer caprese, this recipe calls for sherry vinegar, which is a little lighter and brighter (we actually love using sherry vinegar in everything from salad dressings to marinades, so if you don’t already have some, we recommend it).
Then, instead of using basil, which is fresh and fragrant in the summer but hard to find in the winter, the recipe calls for chives. The onion flavor of the chives helps “bring savory notes to balance the sweetness of the tangerines in the salad,” and visually, the green color of the chives pops against the orange tangerines and red tomatoes (use a serrated knife to get the most picture-perfect tomato slices).
The result? A colorful, invigorating, fresh winter caprese salad that’s the perfect antidote to all of the heavier foods we tend to eat this time of year. Pair it with a simple roasted chicken, a plate of cacio e pepe, or with some crusty bread and a glass of white wine, and you’ll be thankful you finally took a chance on winter tomatoes.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below:
Watch: Ina Garten’s Spiced Apple Cider Recipe Is the Only Drink You’ll Need This Winter