So Italian Caprese Salad

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Caprese salad is so Italian that it has the three colors of the Italian flag. It’s made out of tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. It’s seasoned with olive oil and pepper and served as antipasto or first course.
Caprese salad, caprese salad napoleonIt’s called Caprese, after the Island of Capri in the Tyrrhenian Sea, in Southern Italy. It’s simple and easy to prepare. It’s as delicious as its ingredients put together can be. Geographical considerations apart, I must confess the reason for this post is not exactly the Insalata Caprese itself, but the amazing tomato, from my kitchen garden, that I chose to make it.I picked it this morning and wanted to share the size, perfect beauty, roundness and fleshy texture of this sweet and low acid Brandywine tomato, which tastes like those huge Margariteño tomatoes grown in Margarita Island, in Venezuela.
When I tasted it, it brought memories of my childhood and my Grandma Ligia, who managed to have these tomates margariteños regularly in her kitchen ‘imported’ from El Valle del Espíritu Santo, her home town in Margarita.tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, sliced tomatoes and slice mozzarella, ingredients for Caprese saladToday I was so lucky. I had some fabulous mozzarella di bufala from Campana, the same region in Italy to which Capri belongs. This incredibly fresh cheese boasts the Denominazione d’Origine Protetta ‘Mozzarella di Bufala Campana’, a seal that certifies its origin and quality.

Frequently, you can find this world-renowned Garofalo buffalo mozzarella, imported from Campana, in Costco. Its freshness and unique flavor reminds me of those buffalo mozzarellas and bocconcini, made by artisans cheese makers in my home country, that I used to buy every Saturday at Via Appia Express in Caracas.

Different than mozzarella made with cow’s milk, which has a mild milky flavor and elastic texture, buffalo mozzarella has a more robust, lactic flavor that lasts beyond the initial milkiness and what I love the most: a slightly less firm texture.

This is a cheese to be eaten fresh alone or in a salad like this Caprese. Here is the recipe.

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Caprese Salad

Prep Time10 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1-2 buffalo mozzarella
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Slice the tomatoes and the cheese and dispose a slice of each one with basil up to the last slice.
  • Season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Course: Salads
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Enri

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