This is a simple little salad that takes no more work than chopping and drizzling, but it looks and tastes fancy. Balsamic vinegar- which is what gives this dish its punch- is an ingredient that packs a ton of flavor in a very small quantity, but as ketonians we still need to be mindful of ingredients and carb count. You're looking for a balsamic that's made of Modena grape must, possibly blended with wine vinegar, and contains no added sugars. To keep the carb count down, look for one that has around 3 carbs per tablespoon (15 ml), maximum.
Due to some reported shadiness in the Italian olive oil industry, I also recommend springing for a good quality, extra virgin olive oil from California. Better quality ingredients will yield the best taste.
Notes: This salad tastes excellent a day or so later, but because watery vegetables like tomato and cucumber tend to degrade and wilt a bit with the addition of salt or other liquids, it looks prettiest and has the best mouthfeel the day of. I recommend making it and letting it stand in the fridge for a few hours prior to serving.
3.5 g NET carbs per serving
- 340 g (12 oz) cucumber, peel on, sliced length-wise into 1/8ths then diced
- 224 g (8 oz) fresh mozzarella pearls (or fresh mozzarella cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 126 g (approx 16 whole) grape tomatoes, quartered
- 28 g (1 oz) red or white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 g (about 8 leaves) fresh basil, sliced chiffonade
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 10 turns fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste
- 4 tbsp (2 fl oz or 60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp (2 fl oz or 60 ml) balsamic vinegar
- Chop all your vegetables and toss them together in a lidded salad bowl.
- Add mozzarella, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then toss to combine.
- Put the lid on and chill thoroughly, allowing the flavors to meld.
- Serve cold. Keep any leftovers in the fridge.
- Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
- Calories: 152.2
- Fat: 12.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 4.3 g (see Description for NET carbs)
- Fiber: 0.8 g
- Protein: 5.5 g
Keywords: Marinated, mozzarella, salad, balsamic vinegar, balsamic, olive oil