Insalata caprese, Italy's beloved classic tomato and mozzarella salad, one of the simplest yet most satisfying salads around and within easy reach of even the most unaccomplished cook.
What is caprese salad?
Soft, creamy and tangy generous hunks of mozzarella tame the acidity of freshly sliced sun-ripened tomatoes enhanced by extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground sea salt and a scattering of freshly torn peppery yet tender basil leaves.
While a caprese might seem impossible to get wrong, anyone who's ever had rubbery mozzarella and watery tomatoes will know, there's no room for error with this king of salads. However, get it right, and this salad really sings.
How to Make Caprese Salad
The raw materials define the success of this simple dish. Tomatoes should be full of flavour and at room temperature, mozzarella di bufala should be the best you can source, as well as virgin olive oil, salt and the tips of basil leaves.
And, just in case you're wondering how many calories in a Caprese salad? You can always go lighter by going easy on the olive oil, bumping up the tomatoes and being a little meaner with the mozzarella.
A Simple Caprese Salad Recipe
Mozzarella di Bufala
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Slice the tomatoes
2. Tear the mozzarella into generous chunks, or slices.
3. Arrange the tomatoes in overlapping layer on the base of a dish and scatter the mozzarella pieces on top.
4. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a fresh sprinkling of salt and torn basil leaves.
The caprese is open to personal interpretation - try using a combination of tomatoes, blitzing the basil, roasting the tomatoes or even swopping in the king of cheeses, burrata. Just a few of the twists that can be put on this favourite.
Or, try experimenting with thesecaprese recipes:
Caprese Salad with Pesto
If you like some extra zing in your salad, try adding in some punchy pesto. Find the recipe here.
Caprese Salad Skewers
Caprese salad is also perfect for party time. Try this recipe for fun cherry tomato and mini mozzarella ball laden skewers.
Caprese Pasta Salad
It's possible to even re-create those Caprese flavours in a hearty pasta dish. Find the recipe here.
As England gets ready to reopen its restaurants on 12 April for outdoor dining after the lockdowns, restaurateurs and bar owners respond to the new legislation with some exciting pop-ups and creative al fresco dining solutions. Find out more.