I had an internal debate over whether I should even post this salad because it’s been done so many times already. Then I realized I just couldn’t let this one slip by unblogged: it’s easily one of my ultimate comfort foods and too great not to mention.
For the non-Italian speakers, caprese is the Italian equivalent of a tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad. I’ve seen this salad prepared like an appetizer dish—with a sliced tomato, basil leaf, and sliced fresh mozzarella stacked neatly on top of one another. But let’s be real: who wants to spend time carefully arranging a dish when you can simply arbitrarily chop and mix all the ingredients together?
Here’s what I used:
- extra virgin olive oil + balsamic vinegar
- fresh mozzarella
- black pepper, to taste (you can use salt to taste, too, though I don’t)
- ripe tomatoes
- whole grain bread (optional)
I started by chopping the tomatoes and basil. Aren’t they lovely?
I then cut the cheese into cubes.
And I put everything into a big bowl, drizzle some oil, vinegar, and black pepper in, and mix it all together.
In high school, I took a culinary class. It changed my life. One of the huge revelations I took away from the class?
Croutons are just old bread, chopped up, tossed with oil, and baked until crispy.
To make this salad a (semi-)balanced meal, I toss some whole grain bread into the mix in crouton form. It adds a crunchy, carb-y twist to the dish.
I could eat this stuff for days at a time. In fact, I did just that last week! Which brings me to my next point: this salad keeps well in the fridge. I do recommend separating the mozzarella and bread from the tomatoes and basil though—the juices from the tomatoes and excess water from washing the vegetables will cause the cheese to go bad faster and the croutons to turn soppy.
On a different note, this post is embarrassingly late, again. I haven’t been too adventurous with my cooking as of late, as I don’t want to take any risks in my friend’s kitchen (i.e. burn it down.) Now that I’m starting to get into the swing of living here though, we can expect more exciting concoctions in the future!