A Caprese salad, with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, is one of the most delicious and easiest Italian recipes. This dish always turns out right, everyone enjoys it, and most of all, it makes a fast lunch or dinner with only a few ingredients.
Can you enjoy it only in the summer? If you have a couple of tasty ripe tomatoes, buffalo-milk or fresh mozzarella, and a few other ingredients to season, you can enjoy this salad any time. it will make your guests happy!
A dish which dates back in time
Here, I am not only going to write about a recipe, but I am also going to write about a Neapolitan culinary tradition. In Campania, mozzarella is as precious as gold—white gold. Its taste and its texture make this dish famous all around the world. Unfortunately, tasty and fresh mozzarella can’t be easily found outside Campania.
Chose the right ingredients for a perfect caprese
- Mozzarella: Only prepare this with fresh mozzarella if you can. The original recipe calls for fresh, but the tastier buffalo-milk mozzarella fits well too. It shouldn’t release too much liquid; otherwise, the caprese gets watered down and is runny, which will spoil the taste of the tomatoes.
- Tomatoes: Choose them carefully as they are very important and are not all the same. Look for ripe fleshy ones or a mix of tomatoes along with cherry tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes and allow them to sit for a few minutes to drain off the juice. In the US, heirloom tomatoes make a great caprese salad.
- Basil: It is not only ornamental, but it is also essential. Tear up a decent handful of big fresh basil leaves; add them onto the salad just before serving because they tend to wither and turn black easily.
- Salt: Sprinkle it only on tomatoes, never on the mozzarella.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Use a high-quality one with low acidity level.
- Extras: Oregano may replace the basil, but it can also be added. Choose a fresh or good quality dried one. Pepper may be added too.
- 1 lb of extra fresh or buffalo-milk mozzarella (500g)
- 4 Fleshly ripe tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Fine salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- (dry oregano to taste)
- Let the mozzarella stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes;
- Wash the tomatoes and cut away the core;
- Pat the tomatoes dry with a paper towel; if they are perfectly ripe they won’t release any juices;
- Cut them lengthwise into 1cm thick slices;
- Cut mozzarella into ½ inch (1cm) thick slices and drain them;
- Rinse the basil;
- Arrange the mozzarella and tomato slices alternating and overlapping them on a large platter. Put some salt only on the tomato slices;
- Tear the basil leaves with your hands and place them onto every mozzarella slice;
- Sprinkle with oregano to taste;
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil;
- Combine the dish with a few slices of toasted bread and a lightly seasoned crisp salad.