Caprese salad, known as insalata caprese in Italian, is a fresh tomato salad with fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, and other ingredients. There are tons of variations of this delicious dish, but I prefer to keep mine light and simple.
Some recipes add ingredients like balsamic vinegar, but I feel this tends to overpower the fresh flavour of the tomatoes and the delicate taste of the cheese. Instead, I just use lemon juice with a little extra virgin olive oil. The lemon enhances the flavours of the other ingredients instead over masking them.
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Be sure you’re using fresh mozzarella and not the firm slightly yellow version you might shred to use for pizza or lasagna. Fresh mozzarella has a delicate flavour and softer texture. You can find it sold in logs or balls. Either one works fine, but I find the logs easier to slice. Sometimes you can even find the logs pre-sliced
My Fresh and Easy Caprese Salad Recipe
- 3 medium sized fresh tomatoes
- 8 -oz log fresh mozzarella
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- 2 lemons
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice tomatoes and mozzarella to the same thickness, whatever size you prefer is fine. I like mine fairly thick.
- Roll basil leaves into a log and slice into long, thin strips (called chiffonade), or leave them whole if you prefer.
- Alternate tomato and mozzarella slices in a circular pattern on your plate.
- Squeeze juice of one or two lemons, depending on how tart you’d like the flavor to be, over the tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Lightly pour a little olive oil over the top, but be careful not to drown it. A light drizzle is fine.
- Spread basil leaves or chiffonade evenly over the top and serve.
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