The Italian salad known as Caprese is one of my most favorite summer salads. It is quite simple to make and in fact can easily be prepared in less than five minutes. The secret to great tasting Caprese is using the freshest of ingredients. That means, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, and most definitely fresh mozzarella.
First, let’s start with the basil. Stack your leaves together lengthwise like so, biggest to smallest, and about 5-7 depending on size should do the trick.
Next, roll the leaves tightly together, again lengthwise.
Now you cut through the tightly rolled basil with a knife and in doing so, you are creating a chiffonade or ribbon effect.
Just set your basil aside for now as we’ll use it in a bit.
Now we’re onto the tomatoes. I chose Romas for my Caprese today. I just cut them into thin slices, without being too thin.
For the fresh mozzarella, any brand will do. It can also be packed with or without water. Bel Gioioso is the brand I tend to turn to most. After all, there’s a picture of Ensalada Caprese on the front of their package. Bel Gioioso also sells their fresh mozzarella as seen here in ball form, but also in a pre-sliced package as well. Whatever mozzarella you choose to make your Caprese with, please just make sure it is labeled FRESH or the salad just won’t be right.
I now took my fresh mozzarella and cut it into slices about the same thickness as my tomatoes. Now the beauty begins. Grab a plate and for this salad it’s worth bringing out “the good china.” Okay, maybe not china, but use a setting you may not use all the time. This salad is not only extremely tasty, but it is very aesthetically pleasing to the eye too.
I typically start with a tomato, then add a slice of mozzarella, the another tomato and so on until the plate is covered. For tonight’s Caprese since I decided to chiffonade the basil, this is how setting up the salad will work best. Alternatively, you can use the whole leaf of basil and create a Caprese of tomato, mozzarella, basil and then again, tomato, mozzarella, basil and so on.
For all your efforts, this is your reward…
You can season with salt and pepper to taste, if you like. I always like to add a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to marry the flavors. You can also add a little balsamic vinegar if you like. There are variations.* Above is mine. I hope you will take nature’s gifts and enjoy one of Italy’s best salads – Caprese. Buon appetito!
*Here are some other ways to assemble Caprese. The assembly may be different, but the three main ingredients always remain the same.
I did not receive any compensation whatsoever from Bel Gioioso for writing this post. I wrote this of my own wishing to share my love of Ensalada Caprese with you. Enjoy!