Sunday, July 13, 2008

Insalata Caprese Salad

Don't let the name scare you off. This is a simple and delicious salad! I have been making this for several years now. The recipe and pics come from my friend Linda, cllw on the TOHBB. Enjoy!!

Insalata Caprese is one of the simplest and most delicious of salads. It requires only the right ingredients and the right season. The season first. This is basically a summer dish from which follow the ingredients: it should be made only with local vine-ripened tomatoes that are red, juicy and flavorful but not overly soft, and preferably unrefrigerated.
The next ingredient should be truly fragrant, flavorful young basil: green basil grown in the earth and sun, not the hydroponically grown giant leaf variety which has little flavor. The next essential ingredient is good quality fresh, moist mozzarella. Good fresh cow's milk mozzarella (called Fior di latte) does just as well. Never use the yellow plastic-sheathed supermarket variety! Finally, you need genuine extra-virgin olive oil and only olive oil, the best you can afford. With a good quality fresh bread and a glass of cool or slightly chilled white wine, this makes an excellent summer lunch or, in a small portion, an ideal first course for a summer meal.

Insalata Caprese Salad
Source: Linda W - cllw TOHBB
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers (optional)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a circular design around the side of a serving plate, alternate fresh mozzarella slices on a large platter (or on individual plates if you are doing individual portions) with sliced tomatoes, overlapping for effect.
Tear fresh basil leaves and sprinkle liberally over the slices. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sprinkle capers over the top.
Just before serving, drizzle on some excellent extra-virgin olive oil. NOTE: Insalata Caprese should never be allowed to sit in oil for any length of time and become soggy, and no vinegar of any kind goes on Insalata Caprese!
Makes 4 servings.
Variation: How about serving this dish as an appetizer? Very easy to do. Just add some bread slices or crackers.

1 comment:

Kim's Mom said...

This sounds so refreshing, and I too can see it either as written (as a salad) or in a sandwich.

I just love recipes that incorporate fresh produce! The taste can't be beat and it's healthier to boot!