This week we’re making the most of tomatoes before their season sadly wraps up. This Caprese Salad recipe is a summertime favorite when tomatoes are at their juiciest, sweetest, and most flavorful.
Caprese is a traditional Italian salad originating from the Isle of Capri in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. Made with soft, creamy fresh mozzarella, juicy seasonal tomatoes, a generous amount of basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil, it’s light and refreshing – the perfect appetizer or small meal that won’t weigh you down.
When shopping for ingredients, look for ripe tomatoes that are slightly soft to the touch. We have livened up this classic salad with a medley of fresh, market-bought cherry tomatoes, but you can pick any size or color, from organic heirlooms to plum tomatoes – just slice or chop to suit.
Caprese Salad is made with fresh mozzarella cheese and in this case, the softer and creamier you can find, the better. For an artisanal look, tear the mozzarella into bite-size chunks and scatter on top of the tomatoes.
Basil is one of those ingredients you should always have growing somewhere, whether it be your kitchen windowsill or your backyard veggie patch, it's simply a kitchen essential and the highlight of this dish.
Just before serving, pour over the balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing and season with a little black pepper. Opt for an excellent cold-pressed, 100% extra-virgin olive oil, as you can really taste the flavors against the fresh Mediterranean ingredients. A robust extra-virgin olive oil, like kyoord, has a strong peppery flavor which is a great finishing touch in this flavor profile.
Warm weather and juicy tomatoes make Caprese Salad feels like summertime on a plate. We can just imagine sitting in a cafe on the Amalfi coast, gazing out at the ocean and eating this dish. Fresh produce and high-quality olive oil are truly the key to producing an Italian-worthy Caprese... and if you want to enjoy it with a beautiful bottle of wine, by all means, go for it!