One story of the beginning of the salad Caprese is that it was created at a restaurant named the Trattoria da Vincenzo, located on the island of Capri, in the 1950's as a light lunch for its patrons. Another story assigns the beginnings of the salad Caprese to Campania, using buffalo mozzarella as the main ingredient. Both stories assert that the salad Caprese was invented to satisfy summer lunch patrons who wanted a light midday meal.
No matter the origins, salad Caprese is a delightfully fresh concoction ideal for sultry summer days when hunger strikes, but it's much too hot to cook.
Variations of Caprese Salad
Many types of tomatoes are indigenous to the island of Capri and its volcanic soil yields an intense tomato taste that makes them ideal for salad Caprese. Because of the simplicity of this salad, it is of the utmost importance that the ingredients be as fresh as possible. Although some aficionados add sea salt, vinegar is not usually a component of salad Caprese because its strong flavor will overwhelm the flavor of the delicate mozzarella.
Many variations of the original salad Caprese have evolved and are now served as appetizers, first course dishes and buffet-style offerings. In addition, creative cooks now use freshly cut corn with diced tomatoes and diced mozzarella for salad Caprese, or add pasta or a variety of other seasonings, such as shallots, oregano and balsamic vinegar. Alternating baby mozzarellas with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves on a skewer has become a popular way to neatly serve this savory salad as a buffet item.
Salad Caprese is very simple to prepare and incredibly pleasing to the palate.
- Fresh mozzarella cheese slices
- Fresh ripe tomato slices
- High quality extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh basil
- Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
- To prepare a salad Caprese, begin by slicing the very ripe and very fresh tomatoes into slices about a half-inch wide, then place a slice or two on a small plate.
- Next, slice the fresh mozzarella into half-inch slices and place atop the tomato slices, one slice of mozzarella for each tomato slice.
- Cut the fresh basil into ribbons and place a few ribbons of basil on each tomato-mozzarella combination.
- Lastly, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over each tomato-mozzarella-basil slice. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired, and serve immediately. If available you can drizzle a little reduced Balsamic Vinegar over the salad.
For more on tomato and mozarella salad, and other recipes and food tips, check out Copykat.com.