Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Caprese Salad

I am finally back from my Spring Break and boyfriend's 30th birthday-related travels to California (Orange County) and Las Vegas, bookending a busy and stressful week at work. I feel like all I have done is drink and eat (and I do mean DRINK and EAT), so a light, fresh dinner sounded so right.

Also, it is reminiscent of a very late-night dinner in Las Vegas this past weekend at Il Fornaio at New York New York with my boyfriend Brian and Greg, one of his best friends. The dinner was memorable because of the company and the wine, but not necessarily the food. I must say my caprese is much better.

This is a classic Insalata Caprese (according to Wikipedia, Salad in the Style of Capri), easy and fast and tasting of summer and suitable for an appetizer, salad or light dinner.

Classic Insalata Caprese Salad:
(serves 4, can be adjusted for any #)

8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
4 whole fresh Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
12-16 whole fresh basil leaves (or as needed)
4-6 additional fresh basil leaves for garnish
Premium extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Reduce vinegar by half over high heat. Set aside to cool.

Cut extra basil leaves into thin ribbons (chiffonade) for garnish. Set aside.

Meanwhile, layer sliced tomatoes, slices mozzarella and basil leaves. Season all layers with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and reduced balsamic. Top with basil chiffonade for garnish. Serve.


Laurie said...

Oh how I can't wait for fresh grown tomatoes to enjoy just this type of salad! I can almost taste it already!

Peabody said...

I call this evil salad. Because it always looks so good and everyone has a form of it to serve...yet I am deathly allergic to raw tomatoes so I will never know of it's goodness.

Chris said...

Yum! Insalata Caprese has to be my favorite salad ever! I grew up on it,a staple in my Italian home. I love eating it like this or as a panini! Yummmmm!

Kirsten said...

Hi Laurie! I got lucky here with Mexican-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes and basil. Mexico is *sort-of* close to me (totally depends on what part of Mexico, of course), so I find we get pretty good winter/spring produce. Lettuce in AZ is great - it's grown in the state!

Oh Peabody - that is terrible about the raw tomatoes. I promise it was not meant to be torturous or evil. :)

Thanks Chris! One of my favorites too!

Lis said...

oh man.. we eat this salad often in the summer - always with a really good crusty tuscan boule *swoon* I can't wait for the tomatoes!!!

Beautiful presentation (as always!)


Kristen said...

This is one of my favorite salads... I love everything about it! Now...if I could just get my family to eat tomatoes. They are missing out!