It just sounds good doesn’t it. Makes you think of the Island of Capri on the Bay of Naples, where it was created. I had no idea what this dish was until I went to Italy. When I was there, I had one for the first time and let me tell you….the tomotoes were so plump and red, it was like little bursts of sunshine exploding in your mouth; the just picked basil was so fresh and the mozzarella was so creamy, it melted in your mouth. I fell in love. Ever since then, when the summer months come…I crave this dish. In Paris, I could live on bread alone, but in Italy……it would be this dish! It it so easy to make…it’s ridiculous!! The key is in the ingredients. You MUST buy the freshest most fragrant basil, the plumpest, juciest red tomotoes and the homemade mozzarella di bufala if it is available. If it is not, fresh cow’s milk mozzarella is an acceptable substitue. Most Italian specialty stores will carry it. Don’t be lured into buying the yellow plastic mounds of mozzarella in the deli aisle of the supermarket. You will be sorry. No, this one needs the splurge of the real deal. Buy the best ingredients you can afford. In the summer, when I am busy…and hungry for dinner, but too hot to cook and my kitchen is 90 degrees….I crave Caprese!
You will need:
one round of mozzarella di bufala
2 or 3 large ripe tomatoes at room temperature (on the vine works best)
bunch of fresh basil
good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
fresh ground pepper
I serve this family style on a nice white platter. It shows off the vibrant colors of the Italian Flag. Slice the mozzarella and the tomato into approx the same thickness (1/4 -1/2 inch works best) Tear off about 8 large basil leaves, stack one on top of the other, roll into a tight packet and thinly slice. They will form ribbons. This techniqiue is known as chiffonade. Alternate the cheese and tomotoes one under the other in a fan and fill the entire plate. Drizzle with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the basil over the top. Done! How easy is that! I serve this with some Italian bread to mop up the juices on the platter. I always serve this with a glass of good Italian red wine, but a chilled white on a hot summer night would be wonderful too.Buon Appetito!