Easy-Peasy Caprese Salad with Fresh Basil

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Food-Basil-Caprese-Salad

This month I have a ton of fresh Basil filling up my little balcony. It’s actually getting a little out of control, and so I decided that I needed to eat as much basil as possible. And so, here’s an Easy-Peasy Caprese Salad with Fresh Basil Leaves to start. Enjoy!


Easy-Peasy Caprese Salad with Fresh Basil Leaves [Recipe at Bottom]

The Caprese Salad is a traditional Italian recipeInsalata Caprese in Italian.

This salad recipe originates from Capri, an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, south of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. It’s a popular tourist destination, along with the nearby and magical Amalfi Coast. This is a glorious summer destination, and the Caprese Salad is a glorious summer salad.

Keep it simple.

The reason this salad caught my attention as soon as I arrived in Italy, was because of its simplicity. The Italians have quite a simple approach to cooking, where they use fewer ingredients and let them shine. I love this less-is-more approach to cooking.

The Caprese Salad is so easy to make with so few ingredients, that you may be tempted to add something else. Instead, try it as is in its simple form. Taste each and every ingredient, and the beautiful combination together.

Use the freshest ingredients.

The main ingredients are simply Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil. Dressed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper. That’s all you need.

Food-Basil-Caprese Salad-Ingredients

How about growing your own?

Grow your own basil if you can. All you need is a medium sized pot, soil, and basil seeds or a little plant. It’s really not difficult to grow fresh basil. And then you have your own free supply at home, to use whenever you want. I have been loving growing my own basil this year. I have 2 nice big pots and very happy basil. Now in summer, the basil has been growing quickly, and I’ve needed to prune my plants down regularly. This is making me eat more basil. After all the effort you put into growing it, you wouldn’t want to waste it. That’s what growing your own food does – It makes you appreciate it more and gets you eating more of it. 🙂

Food-Basil-Caprese Salad

Helpful Tips:

Get the best quality ingredients that you can afford.

Get the best mozzarella you can afford. Fior di Latte is the normal mozzarella to use – this is cow’s milk mozzarella. Check out what’s on offer at the supermarket or deli, and do a little research before on the different types. No need to empty out your savings, but get a good quality. The mozzarella can make a big difference, and I’ll even prefer to have less mozzarella as long as it’s good quality.

My preference is Buffalo Milk Mozzarella (Mozzarella di Bufala) because I love it’s more robust flavour. That said, I love cow’s milk mozzarella too 🙂 See what you can find, and try different versions until you find your perfect combo.

The mozzarella should be room temperature. Generally, if you buying mozzarella, use it soon after, while it’s nice and fresh. If you keep it over a few days, you can keep it refrigerated. Take it out of the fridge a few hours before using it, so that it can get to room temperature before using.

Use big fresh tomatoes that are red and ripe, but still firm to the touch. You want the tomatoes to still hold their shape when sliced. In Italy, there are specific tomatoes that are traditionally used called Fiasona Pomodori, and Pomodori Cuore di Bue. I have used the Pomodori Cuore di Bue tomatoes that they are great, as the tomatoes keep their shape nicely when sliced.

Use fresh sweet basil leaves. When adding them to your salad, don’t cut or break the leaves up, as this can make them bitter. Rather leave them whole.

Enjoy the simplicity of this dish. Don’t try to add extra ingredients. Instead, celebrate each of the few ingredients, and just how well they go together!

You can serve one big salad plate for everyone to eat off, or make smaller salad plates for individual people. I prefer making one big plate and adding a few extra whole mozzarella balls in the middle. See what works for you.

You can eat this salad in different ways as a main or side dish. Enjoy it as a main salad for lunch. Have it as a side salad with a protein, like a steak. Or you could have it along with olives, fresh bread and cured meats. In Italy, it is perfectly normal to have an Insalata Caprese as a main meal, especially as a Summer Lunch.

You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon at the end to give it a little zing.


Time to get cooking!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Go on, try out this Easy Peasy Caprese Salad with Fresh Basil Leaves recipe below. Let me know what you think!

If you have any tips or comments to share, please do so in the comments below.

DifficultyBeginner

The Caprese Salad is a classic Italian recipe. This salad is the perfect mix of incredible simplicity and amazing flavour. It is so easy to make with very few ingredients but a whole lot of flavour. Eat it as a main salad meal or a side dish with protein. *This Caprese Salad Recipe serves 2 people as a full meal, but experiment to find your perfect amount.

Food-Basil-Caprese-Salad

Prep Time10 minsTotal Time10 mins

 2 Big Red Tomatoes
 250 g Mozzarella di Bufala / Buffalo Mozzarella *Or whichever nice mozzarella you can find
 1 Big handful of Fresh Basil
 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 1 pinch Salt
 1 pinch Pepper
 1 Optional: Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice

1

Slice the tomatoes in nice thick slices. About 6-7mm. Lay them out in a circle on a plate.

2

Slice the mozzarella into similar thick pieces. Lay them in between the tomato slices. If you have bigger mozzarella balls, put 1 or more in the middle of the plate.

3

Add the basil leaves in between the mozzarella and tomato slices. Sprinkle the rest loosely over the plate.

4

Just before serving, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy!

5

Optional: A squeeze of fresh lemon at the end to give it a little zing.

Ingredients

 2 Big Red Tomatoes
 250 g Mozzarella di Bufala / Buffalo Mozzarella *Or whichever nice mozzarella you can find
 1 Big handful of Fresh Basil
 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 1 pinch Salt
 1 pinch Pepper
 1 Optional: Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions

1

Slice the tomatoes in nice thick slices. About 6-7mm. Lay them out in a circle on a plate.

2

Slice the mozzarella into similar thick pieces. Lay them in between the tomato slices. If you have bigger mozzarella balls, put 1 or more in the middle of the plate.

3

Add the basil leaves in between the mozzarella and tomato slices. Sprinkle the rest loosely over the plate.

4

Just before serving, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy!

5

Optional: A squeeze of fresh lemon at the end to give it a little zing.

Easy Peasy Caprese Salad Recipe

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Easy-Peasy-Caprese-Salad-Recipe

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