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One of the things Jack and I look forward to most in the summer is the abundance of fresh tomatoes – and this Caprese Salad is the perfect way to enjoy summer’s tomato crop!
There’s nothing better than the taste of a freshly-picked tomato in our opinion, and because our summer growing season in New England is short compared to other parts of the country – garden-grown tomatoes are like gold to us! While the tomatoes we have growing in our own garden are not yet ripe, we were able to find some gorgeous locally-grown tomatoes at our local farmer’s market and they were fantastic!
Caprese salad (or Insalata Caprese, which means ‘salad in the style of Capri’) is simply sliced tomatoes served with sliced buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil, and seasoned with salt and olive oil. (We also put a little bit of freshly ground black pepper on ours.) According to Wikipedia, in Italy, unlike most salads, Caprese salad is usually served as an antipasto (or starter), not a contorno (side dish).
The simplicity of this Caprese salad allows the fresh flavors of the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to really shine and the touch of salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil serve to enhance the fresh flavors of each simple ingredient. This is a fresh taste of summer in Italy, right here at home! Mangia!
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- 2 large, fresh tomatoes (Beefsteak, Big Boy or other large varieties are particularly good in this salad)
- 1 8–ounce ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup julienned fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Slice each tomato into slices about ½ an inch thick.
- Slice the mozzarella ball into ¼ to ½ inch slices.
- On a platter or plate, alternately lay the tomato slices and mozzarella slices – you can lay them in a line on a long platter, or in a circular pattern on a smaller plate.
- Season with salt and black pepper. Then, sprinkle the julienned basil over the slices.
- Just before serving, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
- Serve immediately.
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