Insalata ala Caprese

June 3, 2009

insalata-ala-caprese

One of the many things I love about this time of the year is the amazing fresh produce. One of my most favorite salads to serve either as an appetizer or as a side salad is this Insalata ala Caprese.

We had a few friends over for dinner this past Friday night and I had some great tomatoes and loads of fresh basil, so it was a ‘no brainer’ when deciding what to serve as an appetizer. This is always a real crowd-pleaser! But, seriously, how can you go wrong with fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil?

I just can’t get enough of this salad! Unfortunately, this is a little bit of a splurge when you use the full fat fresh mozzarella. (Unless you’re disciplined enough to keep it to a slice or two of cheese, which I am NOT.) I’ve made it using the lower fat mozzarella and it’s fine, but not quite as good, so I always use the fresh mozzarella when we have guests.

We had eight people and these were the quantities that I used, but obviously, you can modify easily enough for more or less servings.

closeup-insalata-ala-caprese

Insalata ala Caprese

5 medium size fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 1/2 lbs. fresh mozzarella, drained and sliced
fresh basil leaves
1-2 T olive oil
1-2 T. balsamic vinegar
Dash of sea salt

Layer the tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella on a serving platter. Drizzle with the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar, to taste. I also julienne a few basil leaves to sprinkle on the top and put a sprig in the center. Top off with a grind or two of sea salt, if desired.

I’ve made several different versions of this recipe. It’s excellent if you have a variety of tomatoes. I’ve made it with a combination of yellow, orange, and red tomatoes and it turns out gorgeous. Also, if you don’t care for the balsamic vinegar, just use a little lemon juice instead.

Buon appetito!

~LilSis

8 Comments so far

  1. Posted by Melissa

    June 3, 20095:19 pm

    I love Caprese SOOOOO much. I make it as a pasta constantly, with grape tomatoes since I can’t find good ones usually out of season. I can’t wait to have the summer ones again.

    And the full fat is a splurge but WORTH IT for Caprese.

    Drooling.

  2. Posted by Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer

    June 3, 20095:41 pm

    This is one of my all time fav’s – YUM!!!

  3. Posted by LilSis

    June 3, 20095:44 pm

    Hey Melissa,
    Yum! You’ll have to post your pasta version on your blog…I’d love to see it!

    I’m so in love with all these ingredients. I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate some roasted garlic into this recipe. That would just be pure heaven!

    Phooey! I should have used your rating system on this one…I think this one would rate right up there with “Make this or I will hunt you down and stick bamboo shoots up your fingernails!” Is that too harsh?

  4. Posted by LilSis

    June 3, 20096:51 pm

    I think we have the same taste, Cathy!

  5. Posted by Toni

    June 3, 20097:46 pm

    OMG, that looks so good! There is absolutely no way that I’m going to make that – I’d eat the whole plate by myself!!

  6. Posted by LilSis

    June 3, 20098:00 pm

    No kidding, Toni! Trust me, I would too! That’s why I don’t make it for just the three of us. I only make it when I’m having guests.

  7. Posted by lisaiscooking

    June 4, 20099:35 am

    Beautiful salad! Caprese can’t be beat!

  8. Posted by LilSis

    June 4, 200910:33 am

    Thanks Lisa! You’re right…It can’t be beat, IMHO.

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