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Insalata Caprese Shopping Tips
Buy lettuce that is crisp and free of blemishes.
Insalata Caprese Cooking Tips
Before dressing, keep your salad chilled in the refrigerator to stay crisp.
A timeless classic, Caprese Salad is a quintessential summertime dish in Italy.
Legend has it that this quintessential summer dish was born during the 1950s in the southern region of Campania on the Isle of Capri, hence the name caprese. Light to taste and easy to assemble, the key to making this salad is using the highest quality ingredients you can find, especially the tomatoes which should be at their peak of ripeness!
Insalata Caprese (Caprese Salad)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly
10 ounces fresh mozzarella
1½ pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small bunch basil, leaves removed
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt, to taste
With a sharp knife, cut the mozzarella into ½-inch-thick slices, and transfer the pieces to a serving platter.
Cut the tomatoes into varying shapes and sizes and pile them decoratively over the mozzarella.
Whisk the vinegar, a pinch of salt and the extra virgin olive oil together in a small bowl.
Tear the basil leaves over the salad. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, sprinkle with salt, to taste and serve. Buon appetito!
Discover the secrets to making this salad with our in-depth guide, The Key to Caprese!
Quality Ingredients Matters
This dish really only requires a few basic ingredients but what makes this dish go from good to OMG-AMAZING is the quality of the ingredients you use!
- Fresh Mini Roma or Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh bocconcini (mini mozzarella)
- Artichoke hearts in water
- Fresh basil
- Seasonings &ndash not kosher or table salt, but sea salt. This is my FAVORITE!
- Extra Virgin Olive oil &ndash trust me, there is a difference in taste. Invest in an amazing oil like this one! &ndash this is my absolute FAVORITE!
What a true Caprese salad recipe should contain.
Tomatoes. Mozzarella cheese. ꂺsil. ਊ drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
And that's it. No avocado. No strawberries. No olives.
It's not quite that simple, though. To make it the best it can be you need to learn the secrets of a true Italian Caprese recipe.
Why Is It Called Caprese Salad?
Insalata Caprese, as you&rsquoll find this salad called in Italy, has its origins from the island of Capri, south of the coast of Naples.
The name, in fact, literally translates to &ldquosalad of Capri&rdquo.
The first &ldquoSalads of Capri&rdquo were probably created to use a soft local cheese, rather than the mozzarella that is commonly used today.
What wine pairs the best with Caprese salad?
When pairing wine with Insalata Caprese, choose light acidic wines, either white or red. Avoid heavy, tannic, full-bodied wines with low acidity like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. Opt for crisp, tart and dry wines as they will taste less acidic and more fruity when paired with raw tomatoes.
My choice of wines that pair well with Caprese salad:
- Muscadet (white)
- Sauvignon Blanc (white)
- Soave (white)
- Barbera (red)
- Frescobaldi Pater Sangiovese (red).
Rosé and sparkling wines like Prosecco will pair well with Caprese salad, too. Remember that fruity, refreshing wines is what you are looking for.
To Make The Caprese Salad: Arrange tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, and basil on a serving dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and serve.
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As with many great Italian cuisine inventions such as pasta and pizza, for the Caprese salad as well origins are not precisely known. It is easy to fall in love with this simple but refined dish, which has in itself the colors and flavors of products that have made the history of Italian cooking: tomato, basil and mozzarella. The caprese is also a lifestyle, being an uncooked dish where ingredients are everything, and the taste is simple but intense.
Decades later, precisely in the 1950s, it is reported that King Farouk, asking for something light as an afternoon appetizer, was served a sandwich stuffed with mozzarella, tomato and basil. It is therefore definitely one of the discoveries of the twentieth century.
With mass tourism the caprese ceased to be a Capri recipe and became an international dish, a Mediterranean dream just as a quick sandwich on the streets, in motorway and airport autogrills. Meanwhile, the dish was improved when the traditional vaccine mozzarella started to be replaced with bufala mozzarella, a dairy product typical of Campania.
Sections on Italian Cuisine
Who invented Caprese salad, aka insalata caprese?
Caprese salad in Italian is insalata caprese, which means “the salad from Capri.” It’s a simple salad of fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, seasoned with salt and pepper. Like pizza margherita, each of the ingredients corresponds to the colors of the Italian flag: red, white and green.
Who invented this popular salad? The first mention of Caprese salad was on a 1920’s menu from Hotel Quisisana, a 5 star hotel on the island of Capri. The salad didn’t catch on until the 1950’s, when King Farouk of Egypt visited Capri and tried it as a sandwich. He raved about it, and it caught on and became the international sensation that it is today!
Cannoli in Italian means “little tube” and is a ancient dessert recipe made famous in Sicily which has enjoyed terrific global success especially in America. They are tube shells of fried pastry dough which normally have a sweet ricotta filling. Cannoli originates from Palermo and were once only prepared to celebrate Italian Carnival festivities but due their enormous popularity can now be found and enjoyed all year long.
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Anna writes about everything that makes Italian culture so special. Having lived and worked in Ireland and the UK for many years she is originally from le Marche in Italy while her zest and passion for life comes from raising her young family.
Anna writes about everything that makes Italian culture so special. Having lived and worked in the UK and Ireland for many years she is originally from the Pesaro & Urbino Italian province on the Adriatic Sea while her zest and passion for life comes from raising her young family.
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