On my very first trip to Italy, I was introduced to Caprese Salad. Ever since, I’ve loved the salad — especially in summer when tomatoes are at their best. Caprese Salad (or Insalata Caprese in Italian) means “salad of Capri”. Capri is a beautiful island off the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Traditional Caprese Salad is made with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozarella cheese, basil and seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil. Sometimes, a herb seasoning is also used. In the U.S., we often add a balsamic vinegar or glaze to the salad.
This summer, we have been making a lot of Caprese Salad. It’s a great way to use tomatoes and basil from our garden. And, three of the four of us love the salad.
1/2 lb. fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup fresh Basil leaves
Fresh Ground Pepper
Alternate sliced tomatoes with slices of Mozzarella. Sprinkle with basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.
- I often use the Buffalo Mozzarella from Trader Joe’s. I like it’s consistency. Costco also sells Buffalo Mozzarella (Burrata). It’s more of the traditional Italian style and much softer.
- My family prefers a bit of aged Balsamic Vinegar on the salad. The better quality (aged) balsamic, the better the salad.
- As a variation, I use cherry tomatoes, small heirloom tomatoes and Trader Joe’s Ciliegine small mozzarella balls. I toss the salad with slices of basil, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. (See Below)
Last night, I ordered an Heirloom Tomato Salad at Savvanah’s Chop House (in Laguna Niguel). The salad was served with three large heirloom tomato slices. One was topped with Gorgonzola Cheese, the second with Goat Cheese and the third with Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese. The salad was topped with a delicious Balsamic reduction glaze.
The salad was one of the best I’ve ever had! I would have taken a picture, but the restaurant was too dark for our camera phones. I will definitely try to recreate the salad at home.