Monday, December 17, 2007

Insalata Caprese

Or salad in the style of the Island of Capri. There are more versions on how to make this than you can shake a stick at. I've seen it layered, overlapped and on skewers. I've seen it topped with just olive oil, with just balsamic vinegar and with a mixture of both. And most importantly if you have a set of working eyes you don't require a recipe. If you can see it you can make it. So going off of this basic principle, I knew I liked mine stacked, with more balsamic vinegar than olive oil and topped with julienned basil instead of whole basil leaves. But, always the perfectionist, I decided to do some research and see if I was "missing out" on something that would take my basic idea into an AWESOME idea!

So I went on and found a recipe for the salad but I wasn't interested on the recipe as much as I was interested in the reviews. I find a lot of insight on the reviews, what people did different, how they made a recipe better, you know.... insight. So I found the following review by someone called YOGAFOODIE:
"I've been making this salad for years. However, us Sicilians make it a little different. Also, another trick is to use fresh bocconcini (the smaller fresh moz. balls) and to use very fresh Roma (chopped) tomatoes or cherry/plum tomatoes. I add a lot of balsamic dressing with only a splash of olive oil (plus at least 3-4 cloves of fresh chopped garlic). Mix together and let the flavors marinate together (it tastes delicious when the balsamic vinegar and garlic flavors soak into the cheese). Just a little Sicilian twist to the caprese salad. "

With this little tid bit in mind I set out to make the Caprese salad my own. And it completely surpassed my expectations. It was savory, light, fresh and best of all TASTY!!! Ryan really liked it, he liked it so much he has requested it for Christmas Day. I think I will make it as an appetizer or something we can munch on during the day. And since it's already dressed in the Christmas colors how could that be wrong? So here is my take on Insalata Caprese:

Insalata Caprese con una Claud Torsione
In English, Salad in the style of Capri with a Claud Twist

2 Vine Ripened Tomatoes (can be purchased at the grocery store)

2 Buffalo Mozzarella

Basil Leaves, julienned (About 3 or 4 it's really your preference)

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

2 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tspn Finely Chopped Garlic

Coarse Salt

Combine Balsamic vinegar and garlic in a bowl and then slowly mix in the Olive Oil until emulsified. Set the mixture aside and let "marinate" at room temperature for an hour to an hour and a half. A little before your hour or your hour an a half is done slice up your Buffalo Mozzarella . Place cheese on a platter or deep dish and pour 2 tablespoons of the balsamic mixture over the mozzarella slices. Let the cheese marinate in the balsamic vinegar for an hour. Then slice up two tomatoes, you should get about six 1/4" slices out of every tomato. Place tomatoes slices on a platter and season with coarse salt. Then with a slotted spoon transfer mozzarella cheese slices on top of the tomato slices. Then sprinkle the balsamic vinegar the cheese was marinating in around the tomato slices. Sprinkle basil over the top of the stacks, serve and enjoy.

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