Insalata caprese is a tomato and mozzarella salad from the island of Capri. This simple yet delicious Italian antipasto makes perfect use of local heirloom tomatoes which are available now in grocery stores and markets. Extra-virgin olive oil highlights the sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes and is the only dressing needed. What makes this salad shine? Like anything else, it’s the quality of the ingredients. The tomatoes and mozzarella must be fresh – plain and simple, end of story. If you live in New York or where there’s a large Italian community, fresh mozzarella is everywhere. It doesn’t matter where I shop, I can always find in-house made mozzarella and with a choice as to salted or not. I picked up the mozzarella on Sunday and a sticker on the plastic wrap said it was made at 12:30pm…still slightly warm! I could visualize the salad and couldn’t wait to get home to chow down.
For 2 people, you’ll need –
1 or 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Please don’t add any vinegar or lemon juice as you will kill the delicate flavor of fresh mozzarella. A chunk of bread will go nicely with this salad to mop up any of the leftover juices from the tomatoes and olive oil. Enjoy!