Inspired by Italian cooking I came home ready to cook. Caprese salad was a food staple for us on our trip for lunch and dinner. Caprese salad is a very easy dish to prepare, but up until my trip it was not a favorite of mine. I'm not a big fan of raw tomatoes. I love them hot and made into sauces, but raw is another story. Early on in the trip we had it with some salt and pepper and that made a world of difference. It really enhances the flavor of both the tomato and the mozzarella. I made this salad a day or so after returning home. Slainte!
Caprese Salad (serves 2)
1/4 pound fresh mozzarella cheese (water packed), sliced 1/4 inch
1 ripe tomato (but not too soft), unrefrigerated, sliced 1/4 inch
3-4 fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (it's important to use good quality evoo, the kind used for eating not cooking)
coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Lay tomatoes out on plate, top each slice of tomato with a slice of mozzarella cheese. (The cheese and tomato can also be layered alternately around the plate)
2. Place basil leaves in the middle of the plate or, if you prefer, top each slice of cheese with a leaf.
3. Just before serving, drizzle olive oil generously over tomatoes, cheese, and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Since I don't love tomatoes all by themselves, I take a piece of tomato, a piece of cheese, and a piece of basil in one bite and it is delicious! Add a glass of wine and it's a very light lunch or dinner for the summer.
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