Mozzarella alla Caprese

Caprese salad, or the salad of capri, is a staple Italian dish, that made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil. Oh, and let’s of course not forget the obvious – that's being that it represents the colours of the Italian flag. Its amazing how these three ingredients, mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil come together in perfect harmony…and ever oh-so-deliciously. Bonno!

Summer is definitely a time of year when salads are the main course item during any meal in my home. Fresh, bright and vibrant vegetables and sometimes even fruit, little seasoning or sauces….just to be able to appreciate the natural flavors of each bite…Mmm, it really is absolutely wonderful.

I love a good caprese salad. Its easy to make and to this date, I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t enjoy it. I don’t even like tomatoes much, but with a good caprese salad…I’ll definitely dig right in! I think it's the combination of the fresh basil, sweet summer tomatoes and rich aromatic and almost nutty olive oil that just go so well together. And sprinkle some really good quality sea salt or Himalayan pink salt…wow! I feel my stomach start to grumble just thinking about it. And for those of you who love your wines… caprese salad paired with that great fruit-forward Sauvignon Blanc or even a Pinot Grigio is splendid..or if you love your reds, than try something like a Merlot or fruity Pinot Noir!! Caprese salads can be made to stand alone – a healthy and definitely filling main course or can be a wonderful share plate that everyone takes a bite at, at the start of a meal. You can plate with care and fine detail making it fancy or go rustic with roughly torn pieces from large mozzarella balls finished with similarly roughly torn shreds of basil and a generous drizzle of liquid gold – rich olive oil. Again, it's a dish that you can really dress up or down – depending on the occasion.

I normally use buffalo mozzarella when making a good caprese salad but when I want to do something a little extra special I go and find myself some burrata. Burrata, meaning "buttery" in Italian is a fresh cheese made from a mix of mozzarella and cream, and is it ever good. The creamy texture and richness is decandent and takes your already-very-delicious-caprese and sky rockets it to new levels. Go on, try it next time!! Bon appetito.

Rossella is the creator of this Italian recipe site and the host of the online cooking show and food webisode series, Cooking with Nonna. Rossella was born into a family of culinary aficionado's and food lovers. Growing up there was always something on the stove, says Rossella who is a first generation Italian American from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Her roots are from Mola di Bari, a small fishing village known as Mola where her parents were born. For Rossella cooking was never about cooking, it was about family, community and spending quality time with each other. Rossella spent most of her childhood in the kitchen with her maternal Grandmother Roman learning the long legacy of recipes passed down through the generations. On this site you will find authentic and traditional Italian recipes from all the regions of Italy.

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