Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese
(Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, and Basil Salad)
serves 4


½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into ¼-inch thick slices
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch thick slices
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup good balsamic vinegar
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 or 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
Coarse Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers (optional)

Crusty Italian bread or Baguette, sliced into ¼ inch slices


1.  Arrange the tomato and fresh mozzarella slices in an alternating, circular pattern around the edge of a large platter  (or on individual plates if you are doing individual portions) creating an overlapping for effect of tomato slices and mozzarella slices.
2.  Chiffonade the basil leaves and sprinkle liberally over the slices.  Distribute the capers over the top of the slices.
3.  In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, the balsamic, and garlic.  Taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper and distribute the mixture over the tomato, mozzarella, and basil on the platter.
4.  For best taste, allow the salad to rest about 1 hour before serving.
5.  Serve with accompanied by slices of crusty Italian bread or baguette on which to create an hors d'oeuvres portion*.

*a portion is considered one tomato topped slice of mozzarella atop of a slice of the bread topped by some of the chiffonade basil leaves and capers.

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