Monday, August 9, 2010

Insalata Caprese

Thanks to the Italians, once again, for a combination which remains classic for good reason. We owe tribute to the region of Campania, where sliced, sun ripened tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and basil leaves, were first layered with one another to create an antipasto unwavering in flavor and simplicity. A nod to the colors of the Italian flag, I think of this dish as a gift to any gardener.
This moment in the season, when tomatoes are at their best, and the heat of the stove is less attractive, this salad doubles as superhero. Truly impossible to improve upon.

Insalata Caprese:
*2 medium, ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced
*1 ball buffalo mozzarella, sliced
*fresh genovese basil leaves for layering
*your best quality olive oil
*sea salt and pepper

Layer tomato slices with the mozzarella and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve on an attractive platter at room temperature.


  1. Can you use feta cheese and it be the same thing? Or does that have a different name? I don't like buffalo mozzareela but love the feta.

  2. I have made this with feta as well, and it is very good! You can do what the Italians do, and call it, "insalata tricolore", a looser term to describe the dish. The tomato can be substituted for red bell pepper, or radicchio, and in this case, feta for mozzarella. Buon appetito!

  3. Molto bene!

    If you're looking for a "beach read" to accompany your Insalta Caprese, I recommend Carol Goodman's "The Night Villa." It will transport you to Naples and Capri.


  4. i can't believe i missed out on this! had i known it was in your kitchen the whole time, i would have eaten at least half of it ; ) xoxo