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 flavor 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 flavors of the other ingredients instead over masking them.
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 flavor 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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