antipasto · appetizers · basil · caprese · easy · extra virgin olive oil · fresh · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · pesto · pretty · salad · Savory · tomato

Caprese Salad

This is one of those dishes that you have to admit is just plain beautiful, whether you like the way it tastes or not.  I have personally tried this salad many times, where the taste, I didn’t find, was that impressive… But the presentation was always gorgeous.  Now, in saying that the taste wasn’t that impressive, I would like you to note that my experiences like that were only *some* of the time.  The rest of the time… Well, let’s just say I once had a Caprese salad that I’ll probably talk about till the day I die. 
This recipe is my attempt at re-creating that exceptional taste, and while I might not quite have captured the full effect, this is a pretty close.  I was very pleased with how it turned out, and I hope, through these notes, you will be able to enjoy it too.  Please forgive my rough estimations on the amounts of each ingredient to use… This is not an exact science.  🙂

Caprese Salad [Me Style]

2-3 Large ripe tomatoes
Baby mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil
Basil pesto
Extra virgin olive oil

I bought some pesto for this, but next time I think I’d like to try making my own.  (Yes, I’m using pesto again. :-D) 

Still, This was delicious, so if you don’t wanna bother making pesto… Go ahead and get a little jar of it, and you’ll be good to go.


To start off, wash the tomatoes and basil, cut up the cheese, and put a bit of olive oil (approx. 2 Tbsp) into a small bowl.  


The best kind of cheese to use for this recipe is baby (or buffalo) mozzarella, but I wasn’t able to find any on this shopping trip… as you can probably tell, by the nice cubular shape of my slices (they should be round).  😛  Instead, I just got some regular soft mozzarella cheese and cut it up into thick slices, like so. 

Once you have your vegetables washed and sliced, your cheese ready to go, and a serving plate handy for assembly, add a bit of pesto to the olive oil to make a thin dressing.


Next, start layering tomato, cheese, and basil with a little bit of the oil mixture in between each piece.  I like the flavors to be nicely distributed, so I prefer to do it this way than just drizzling it over the whole thing at the end.

Layer all of the pieces around the edges and into the middle of the plate.
 

When you’re finished, decorate with a couple of extra basil leaves in the center, and drizzle lightly with a bit more of the oil and pesto mixture.

Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Until next week!

–Naomi

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