Sunday, January 24, 2010

Insalata Caprese

With summer's bounty of sun kissed home grown tomatoes flowing in, it is time to make one of the simplest, yet most delicious salads, Insalata Caprese.  This salad only works when tomatoes are at the peak of their season, plump, ripe & full of juice.
Insalata Caprese (or salad in the style of Capri) originates from the Italian region of Campania & is also known as a Tricolore salad due to its three colours of red, white & green, which mimic the Italian flag. 
In its pure form it is made only of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, plum tomatoes & basil, lightly seasoned with sea salt, black pepper & dressed in the best extra virgin olive oil.
There are of course variations to the traditional recipe, such as adding garlic, parsley or different vinegars, but I prefer my salad unadulterated. If the tomatoes are ripe & juicy there is, in my opinion, no need for any vinegar.  The juice from the tomatoes will be sufficient to form the dressing.
I was lucky enougth this summer to have some heirloom Black Russian tomatoes, some Grosse Lisse (both home grown) & also some Romas & fresh basil grown by my good friends Patti & Denis Hicks.
As you will see from the pictures I do not go for the tradional presentation of alternating slices of tomato & mozzarella artfully arranged on a platter.  I like a little more rustic approach by tearing the mozzarella & scattering it over the top of the tomato slices.
The following recipe does not give quantities, just use enough of the ingredients for the number of people dining.


Tomatoes sliced in rounds
Buffalo Milk Mozzarella sliced in rounds or torn
Basil torn
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil


On a serving platter arrange tomatoes, scatter with torn mozzarella & basil leaves.  Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste & dress with extra virgin olive oil.

PS: I have entered this blog in the Grow Your Own competition.  Just follow the link for details

1 comment:

  1. Yes! No vinegar needed! Perfect Summer dish.

    Since you are using homegrown ingredients, would you like to enter this post in our Grow Your Own roundup this month? Full Details at


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