Sunday, September 26, 2010

Caprese Salad (Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil)

This is my wife's favorite appetizer/salad. It probably America's favorite too by the sheer number of different restaurants that have one version or another on their menu. Here is my take on this amazingly popular and delicious dish. As always, quality ingredients are imperative.

Caprese Salad

2 fist sized heirloom tomatoes (beefsteak or garden tomatoes are great too)
2 balls of fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn (not chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, torn
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
1 oz balsamic vinegar
1 oz white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Tear up the basil and oregano, I prefer tearing to chopping because by gently tearing you retain more of the delicate flavors of the herbs. Remove the core from the tomato. Slice each tomato into 5 equal size slices. Salt and pepper both sides of the tomato slices liberally. Slice each mozzarella ball into 4 equal sized slices. Alternate the tomatoes and mozzarella adding a bit of the fresh herbs on each layer. Top the stack with some fresh basil. Slowly pour the vinegars and olive oil over the whole stack with a spoon, making sure you hit each layer. Top with some more salt and pepper and serve.

This is a fast and reliable opener to any meal. It take under 15 minutes to make and requires no cooking. Also it always tastes amazing. What more can I say, Italians know how to eat. Buon Apetito!

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