Insalata caprese, the salad from Capri, is the perfect summertime dish for lazy cooks in a hurry. Slicing is the hardest part. Bright red tomato slices are interspersed with juicy white mozzarella and whole green basil leaves, drizzled with a little extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and a twist of pepper. The salad was created in the 1950s, a substitute for the sumptuous cooking at the Trattoria da Vincenzo for summertime regulars out for a light lunch. They’d order a ripe, just-picked tomato and a fresh, locally made fior di latte, cow’s milk mozzarella--no buffalo on the island of Capri. The salad has evolved on Capri to include a few leaves of rughetta, wild arugula, and a pinch of dried wild oregano, both island products; everywhere else in Italy the salad is limited to tomato, mozzarella and basil. The dressing is always a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Vinegar would destroy the delicate flavor of fresh mozzarella and is never used.
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup loosely packed arugula (optional)
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 pound fresh mouncezarella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 pinch first-rate dried oregano (optional)
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Tear the basil (and optional arugula) into bite-pieced pieces. Alternate slices of tomato, mozzarella and basil leaves on a serving platter. Scatter the arugula and oregano on top (if you choose to use them). Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
307 calories; 20g total fat; 41mg cholesterol; 413mg sodium; 10g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 22g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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