Monday, September 3, 2012

Caprese salad

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I already wrote about Caprese salad, but since Sergey started bringing the proper mozzarella to Moscow things changed. I started making it more and more. And more, so now it evolved enough to say another word about it. You can also regard this as my farewell to the summer. It's time even for me to admit that summer will very soon be gone together with the proper tomatoes. So I find myself making it one more last time. And one more...

Caprese salad is all about ingredients. You are not cooking anything, but just arrange tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto sauce on a platter and season them. That's why, for me it is not really worth making unless I have tomatoes and mozzarella, which I would love to eat just on their own.


I used to slice both mozzarella and tomatoes into circles before I first tried mozzarella di bufala. The thing about it is that the ball is chewy outside, but creamy within. Because of that the best way to cut this cheese is into segments, not circles. As soon as I got this, I started cutting the tomatoes in the same manner.


In Moscow, the tomatoes I do like to eat just on their own are available June to early September, from farmers markets. Any tomatoes that are ripe, soft and intense in flavor are fine.


I do prefer making my own pesto sauce, because nothing tastes like fresh pesto you just blended. There is nothing complicated about this - you just process some green basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and olive oil together (detailed recipe here). However if you have a ready made pesto brand you really like, you can definitely use it here.

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If above all that Caprese is properly served, it turns into a real feast. Complement your tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto with some good sea salt, good olive oil, good balsamic vinegar, some freshly ground black pepper, a few pine nuts and some green basil leaves. How can that not be good?

Caprese salad 

serves 2

2 medium ripe and tasty tomatoes
125 g ball of mozzarella di bufala
4 table spoons of pesto sauce
extra virgin olive oilbalzamic vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
handful of pine nuts (optional)
several green basil leaves (optional)

Cut the tomatos and mozzarella into segments around 1.5 cm thick.

Arrange them on the serving dish the way you prefer. I like the classic way when you alter the slices of tomatoes with mozzarella and arrange them in a semicircle.

Complement the salad by the pesto the way you prefer (e.g. serve it in a separate sauce cup, spoon it over the tomatoes or pour it onto the dish).

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the nuts and basil leaves (if using). In an ideal world, get yourself a glass of nice white wine and enjoy.

Related:

Bruschetta with roast peppers and mozzarella di bufala
Pasta with home made pesto
Caponata
Peperonata
Babbo's eggs (poached in tomato sauce)