Insalata di Caprese (or Capri-style salad) is a simple and refreshing salad made with just three basic ingredients – tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil. It epitomizes the healthy, fresh flavors of Mediterranean cuisine. It’s great served as a starter course or as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish.
I don’t have any measurements for the ingredients to this salad. You don’t really need them. Just slice however many tomatoes you want to serve, then make sure you have an equal number of slices of mozzarella cheese and basil leaves so you can layer or stack them. Easy, quick and delicious, especially when you use fresh, juicy, homegrown tomatoes.
I love making this salad with a balsamic reduction which I make myself. If you don’t want to make the balsamic reduction, you could just use a nice balsamic vinegar. But try the reduction, if you can. Believe me, it’ll elevate your salad to new heights!
INSALATA DI CAPRESE
- fresh homegrown or vine-ripened tomatoes
- fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese
- large, whole fresh basil leaves
- good olive oil
- balsamic reduction or balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Slice the tomatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
- Slice the buffalo mozzarella cheese into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- Lay the tomato slices on a big platter. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Alternate each tomato slice with a slice of mozzarella and a basil leaf. You could also make stacks of tomato, mozzarella and basil, if you prefer.
- Drizzle olive oil over everything, then drizzle with balsamic reduction.
- Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving to give the flavors time to meld.
NOTE: You could also make a Mini Caprese Salad using grape or cherry tomatoes and little bocconcini mozzarella as pictured below. Just cut the tomatoes and the bocconcini in half, julienne the fresh basil leaves, and toss everything together with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Don’t forget to season with a little salt and pepper.