SIMPLE CAPRESE SALAD (INSALATA CAPRESE) - So many ways to enjoy it !

    As a dish that embodies the essence of simple Italian cuisine, this Mediterranean salad is the easiest one you can make, and yet it is filling and pleasing to the senses. I come back to it time and time again when I am an in need of a quick food fix that will satisfy the entire family.
    The name "Caprese Salad" was introduced in the culinary world in the early 1920's, when a World War I patriot - supposedly from Capri (*) - decided that as an homage to his country, he would create a recipe that included the three colors of the Italian flag (green, white, and red is the correct order in which they appear). 
(*)(Note: Capri is pronounced without an accent on the "i", and is the Island off the Coast of the Campania Region and in the Province of Napoli  - Italy)

    This resulted in an easy-to-make salad whose fame did not stop in Capri, but traveled the world, becoming  an international delicacy that is served in various ways, and complements sandwiches, or can be enjoyed on its own.  You can play around with this recipe by using different sizes of tomatoes and various types of mozzarella cheese (fior di latte, buffalo, burrata, bocconcini, ciliegine, and many more!)
So let's make this wonderful Mediterranean salad together!
(Serves 4 people)
  • 2 medium balls of  any type of mozzarella, fior di latte, or buffalo mozzarella
  • or: a tub (approx. 20 pcs. of mozzarella ciliegine)
  • 2 large tomatoes (any variety will do)
  • or: 20 grape tomatoes (that can be also halved - in that case, you will need 10)
  • basil leaves (as many as you please)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • EVO
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Fresh or dried oregano (optional)
Let's get creative...
    As you know by now, you can use various types of tomatoes or mozzarella in your creation, once you have envisioned what look you want to give to your salad. (You can assemble the salad by mixing everything in a deep bowl, setting it up piece by piece on a tray, or layering the ingredients in a warm or cold sandwich.)
  • Slice the mozzarella in 1/2 inch thickness (if using ciliegine or bocconcini, you can leave them whole or half them by putting the flat part on the plate)
  • Slice the large tomatoes in rounds or half slices (if using grape tomatoes, again, you can half them or leave them hole)
  • Top with whole or pieces of fresh basil (you will need a tooth pick to hold the pieces together if using grape tomatoes and the ciliegine)
  • Sprinkle some fresh EVO, salt and pepper to taste (oregano is optional, but adds a great flavor to the dish)
  • If you are a fan of balsamic vinegar, I know people who swear by using it in this salad ...
  • Serve cold and enjoy!
Buon Appetito!
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