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Caprese Salad

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What is Caprese?

Contrary to popular belief, the name of the word does not come from the word “whim”. Etymology – in the name of the Italian island of Capri, nestled in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Whether the dish was born on the picturesque slopes of the island, where K. Paustovsky and Oscar Wilde liked to be, who inspired I. Aivazovsky and many filmmakers, is not known for certain, however, it is proved that he owes his name to the Caprese.

Yes, and do not forget the main thing: Caprese is a type of antipasti, traditional Italian appetizers made from meat and seafood, which are accompanied by a large number of fresh, tasty vegetables and are always served on a large dish, while respecting the important principle: the food must be not only tasty but also beautiful. That is why cheese is carefully laid out on a plate, sliced ​​tomatoes are carefully transferred, basil is neatly arranged, in all this magnificence an ensemble is looked for, the perfect interaction of components, perfect arrangement – and here it is, Caprese is ready, you can invite to the table!

In general, caprese is a very “Italian” recipe. The origin is a given fact, this time. Traditions of local cuisine and the habit of eating antipasti before pasta are two. But the funny thing is that the finished caprese repeats the colors of the Italian flag: red – tomatoes, white – mozzarella, green – basil. That is such symbolism.

In my opinion, caprese is not a salad, not a snack, not a meal. It is a harmony of taste, an explosion of colors, an indescribable symphony of aroma. 

What can I add to Caprese salad?

Mozzarella

Perfectly made from black buffalo mozzarella. However, when choosing mozzarella, decisively put aside semi-solid cheeses, do not pay absolutely any attention to smoked varieties, but take bold and many smooth, juicy balls in brine. So, we look at the packaging (whole and solid) and look for the inscription “Mozzarella di Bufala”.

You may not be able to find mozzarella made from buffalo milk this time, then we replace it with just mozzarella from cow’s milk. 

Tomatoes

Perhaps they are in the caprese main taste spot. Of course, the overall success of the salad is determined by the quality and excellent taste of all participants, but the tomatoes are still the centerpiece. Best in this appetizer “sound” tomatoes variety “Bull’s heart”, however, any soil fruit with a pronounced taste, juicy and fragrant will do.

Caprese is an off-season dish, you can cook it both in winter and in summer, the benefit is that modern supermarkets make sure that you can buy anything your heart desires at any time of the year. However, it should be understood that plastic tomatoes, which fill the store shelves before the New Year, are not the product that will decorate caprese.

Basil

Here, in general, everything is simple: fresh, with intact leaves, fragrant.

Olive oil

Of course, only the highest quality and only cold pressed. The color should be slightly herbal, and in taste, you can clearly feel the characteristic taste of olives. Do not forget that good olive oil is fresh, young oil, so if you have a bottle in the pantry, stored up from a trip to Greece three years ago, it is better to forget about it for another three years, then to use it without regret for lubricating creaking maidens. In a caprese, you need to add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and nothing else.

How to make dressing?

Pesto for salad dressing it is better and it’s not difficult. Powerful blender, velvet pine nuts, high-quality olive oil, luxurious parmesan, glossy basil leaves, a pair of cloves of fragrant garlic – that’s all the wisdom. Simple, but fresh, fragrant and do it yourself!

How to Serve Caprese Salad?

Caprese sandwich  – slices of crispy baguette, on which mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, slightly flavored with olive oil, comfortably sit on the ground.

caprese-bruschetta

Beautiful “guest” option – “turrets” of cheese, tomatoes, and basil. Spiced with pesto, they look amazing!

Caprese Skewers – a great way to treat a delicious snack during the buffet. “Pillow” of baked peppers or zucchini, on which the freshest tomatoes and cheese rest – a hearty combination of warm and cold. Multi-colored mousse in cups – not a caprese, of course, but also an option!

caprese- skerews

Antipasti is a very elegant idea. Take a beautiful dish of unusual shape, put bright tomatoes in it, snow-white cheese, decorate coquettishly looking basil leaves. To implement this idea, it is better to take cherry tomatoes and baby mozzarella. Putting everything neatly into tiny cups, you get a non-standard version – an original way of serving salads and snacks, in which the ingredients are stacked in layers and offered to the table in dishes that do not exceed 170 ml.

caprese-antipasti

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad
caprese is a type of antipasti, traditional Italian appetizers made from meat and seafood, which are accompanied by a large number of fresh, tasty vegetables and are always served on a large dish while respecting the important principle: the food must be not only tasty but also beautiful.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes;
  • 200 g of mozzarella;
  • 50 g basil;
  • 2 tbsp. l olive oil;
  • 1 tsp pesto;
  • salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Instructions

How to make Caprese Salad?

  1. Let's start with mozzarella - it must be removed from the brine and cut into slices.
  2. The next stage are tomatoes. Wash, cut into circles the same thickness as the cheese. It will be great if the total size of sliced ​​mozzarella and tomato circles is approximately equal. Oh, and do not forget that the tomatoes must be carefully cut the stem.
  3. Put vegetables and cheese on a beautiful big plate - alternately and slightly overlapping.
  4. Sprinkle with olive oil. Much is not required, but you should not be greedy.
  5. If desired, add some salt. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Decorate with basil leaves, nice additionally sprinkle with finely chopped greens. For each slice of cheese drip a little pesto.

Nutrition Information

Yield

3

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 309 Total Fat 25g Saturated Fat 10g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 13g Cholesterol 53mg Sodium 626mg Carbohydrates 6g Fiber 1g Sugar 3g Protein 16g
Nuts, figs, strawberries, arugula, grapes – try, combine and enjoy the natural taste of freshness, nature, vitamins!

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