Italian caprese salad recipe
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- Dish type
- Vegetable salad
This classic caprese salad is comprised of vibrant plum tomatoes and creamy mozzarella cheese. It is one of the easiest and most delicious salads in the world and is a true taste of Italy.
10 people made this
- 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and sliced
- 500g mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- olive oil, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
MethodPrep:15min ›Ready in:15min
- On a serving plate arrange the tomato and mozzarella by alternating the slices. Top with basil leaves, olive oil and season to taste. Serve.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)
Reviews in English (1)
Love this salad.-26 Mar 2014
I don’t think there’s a better way to enjoy summer tomatoes, than with some fresh mozzarella and basil. An inspiration for so many dishes, like this main dish Chicken and Spiralized Zucchini Caprese, or this simple side dish White Bean Caprese, or this French Bread Pizza Caprese which is perfect for lunch.
Insalata Caprese is a dish from Naples, named after the island of Capri. It makes sense that this dish comes from Naples, since it is the capital city of mozzarella and also known for growing plump tomatoes, fragrant basil and producing some of the best olive oil. When I went to Naples and Capri this year, I ate it every chance I could. There is a belief the salad was created as a symbol of the Italian flag, with the red, the green and the white elements layered in turn on the plate.
Since this simple salad only requires a few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients make all the difference here. I’m lucky to have some really great homemade mozzarella available to me here in New York. If you have Italian markets in your area that make it fresh daily, I highly recommend going that route. Pastosa ravioli is literally down the block from me, it’s my go-to when I want homemade mozzarella. You can use store bought “homemade” mozzarella, but it’s just not the same.
Traditional Caprese Salad Recipe ( Insalata Caprese Recipe )
TRADITIONAL ITALIAN RECIPE: I absolutely adore a good caprese salad. Anytime, anywhere. Unless I see Chefs trying to twist it so much making it unrecognizable and super expensive. Caprese Salad is literally a 1 dollar dish for a restaurant. In that case I throw my iPhone against the wall and walk away swearing in Italian.. pushing down a couple of old women on the way out! ( JUST KIDDING! I would never throw my iPhone against a wall! :P ).
In Summer, when the Basil is fresh and the Tomatoes are in season, it becomes really magnificent. It can make an elegant appetizer or salad course all stacked up in a pretty tower with drizzles of oil and Balsamic reduction running down the sides.
Regular Italian Basil is best for this dish, but you can even use Israeli Basil, which is what you usually find in big supermarkets.
Insalata Caprese ( salad in the style of Capri ) is a simple salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil. In Italy, unlike most salads, it is usually served as an antipasto (starter), not a contorno (side dish).
Almost nothing is required of the cook – this salad stands or falls on the quality of the provisions. For each person you will need one large, perfectly ripe tomato, a ball of mozzarella di buffala, 4 to 6 basil leaves and extra-virgin olive oil. Slice the tomatoes thinly and the mozzarella less so. Arrange them as you wish on a plate. Dress with basil leaves, black pepper and olive oil. It's as simple as that.
The caprese salad is an all-Italian recipe born in the Mediterranean Island of Capri, as the name suggests it. Between the well-known faraglioni and the famous via Krupp, enjoying a fresh caprese salad for lunch is a must.
And although we know where it came from, the exact origins of the recipe are still unclear. Some suggest that it was first prepared in a restaurant in Capri, in the 20s, to promote the futuristic vegetarian cooking of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s Manifesto, which supported the removal of pasta to favor lighter flourless dishes of smaller portions.
According to popular beliefs, the caprese salad was conceived for the Egyptian King Farouk who enjoyed eating “something fresh” after a day at the beach. Even though the origins of this dish are still shady, the taste of the caprese salad continue to shine on Italian and worldwide tables.
What are the key elements for a Caprese salad?
Since there are not many ingredients in a Caprese salad, make sure that they are all high quality. The tomatoes should be ripe, and when lightly squeezed have a slight give and not be mushy or hard.
Use fresh semi-soft mozzarella cheese, that’s easy to slice but holds its shape. Burrata cheese can be used but it’s much softer in texture and won’t hold shape, yet has a divine almost melty texture. Do not use a harder grating type of cheese like you would for lasagna.
If possible use fresh picked basil or make sure it’s bright green with no bruising if already clipped. I use a robust and rich extra-virgin olive oil to add some earthiness to the salad.
Recently I conducted a small poll on the Italian Chef Facebook page asking what kind of summer recipes people wanted to see more of here. No cook recipes like salads and cold antipasti narrowly beat out Italian grilling recipes. So, over the next couple of weeks I am going to feature some of my best salads and such, starting here with my own personal favorite summer dish, Caprese Salad.
This salad is simplicity at it’s best: tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil and basil. It is very important that all of the ingredients be the best quality you can find. Tomatoes and basil fresh from your own garden or the local farmer’s market, your finest extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh mozzarrella from a source you trust.
In Campania, Insalata Caprese is made with local fresh buffalo mozzarella, one of the culinary delights of the region. Here in America, buffalo mozzarella is very hard to find so we substitute good quality cow’s milk mozzarella, called fior di latte in Italy. Even if you can find imported Mozzarella di Bufala in a specialty store, you are better off with good fresh cow’s milk mozzarella from a deli or cheese maker you trust, because buffalo mozzarella is best eaten as soon after it is made as possible and does not travel well.
Caprese Salad Recipe | Italian Recipes (VIDEO)
How to Make this simple Italian favourite Caprese Salad using the freshest tomato, buffalo mozzarella & basil – hopefully picked straight from the garden – with my avocado twist!
CAPRESE SALAD WITH AVOCADO
1 x fresh tomato
1 x large buffalo mozzarella
1 x avocado
Dried mixed herbs
Extra virgin olive oil
1 x knife
1 x flat round plate for serving
1. Cut the centre of the tomato out from the top using a sharp knife.
2. Cut the Tomato and mozzarella into slices.
3. Place the slices of tomato on to the place starting on one side and layering a slice of mozzarella on each one.
4. Each slice of tomato you place, can overlap on the mozzarella next to it slightly.
5. Sprinkle some salt and dried mixed herbs over the top.
6. Cut the avocado through the middle, twist it and separate it from the stone in the middle.
7. Using the side of the avocado without the stone, gently peel off the skin and face it upside down on a chopping board.
8. Using a thin, sharp knife, make slits through the avocado, being careful not to slice all the way to the top and also not to make them too thin!
9. Gently lean the slices to the side so that it starts to look sort of like a flower.
10. Place this on the dish below the tomato and mozzarella.
11. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the top of the tomato and mozzarella.
12. Add a good size bunch of basil to the centre of the dish or even individual leaves to each serving.
When you serve this, your guests can add the avocado to the side or put it on top themselves.
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!
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Antipasti Caprese Salad
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from one lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, either from a log or fresh in brine, cut into 1 1/2” cubes
- 2 1/2 heaping cups cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 pound)
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes, or 4-5 vine tomatoes, cut into 1 ½” dices
- 1 cup green olives, such as Castelvetrano, Picholine or Cerignola, pitted and halved
- 5 ounces dry Italian salame, such as Genoa, Sopressata or Finocchio, sliced into half-moons
- 1 cup fresh basil, torn
Tried this recipe? Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
In summertime, this salad gives you the best of both worlds: the fresh seasonal flavors of a Caprese salad, and all of our favorite goodies from a classic Antipasti salad in one! Best of all, there’s no cooking required for this dish – perfect for a warm day. It has the bright and refreshing quality of a Caprese salad, with added interest and heft from salame and green olives.
What we love about this recipe is the versatility. You can serve it up as is, or with crusty bread to soak up the vinaigrette, or even use this as a sort of fresh sauce to toss with a short pasta like rigatoni or orecchiette.
Authentic Italian Caprese Salad Recipe » Perfect For Hot Summer Days
There’s nothing like a delicious Caprese salad made with fresh ripened tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, fresh herbs, and full-flavored extra virgin olive oil.
The Caprese salad of course has its roots in Italy and was birthed during the 1920s. A chef at Hotel Quisisana post-WWI wanted to pay tribute to everything that was Italy, including its country’s colors and invented the Caprese salad.
Ingredients for this recipe:
• 3 pounds assorted tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
• 1-pound buffalo mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
• 2 teaspoons dry oregano
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 15 fresh basil leaves
• Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1. In a serving bowl or on a serving plate or tray toss together the tomatoes and mozzarella until mixed in with each other.
2. Garnish with dry oregano, salt, and pepper.
3. Finish by generously drizzling on olive oil and add on fresh basil leaves.
Make-Ahead: This salad is meant to be eaten right away. If you keep all of the ingredients prepared and separate you can make this up to 1 day ahead of time.
How to Store: Cover in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. This will not freeze well.
When it comes to selecting olive oil I like to purchase imported from Italy and always extra virgin for full flavor.
This salad is malleable, so if you want more tomatoes, cheese, herbs, olive oil and salt and pepper then please customize it to make it your own.