Introduction: Caprese salad, originating from the picturesque island of Capri in Italy, is an iconic and beloved dish known for its simplicity and the pure, sun-kissed flavors it brings to your plate. The classic Caprese features fresh tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, fragrant basil leaves, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Its red, white, and green color scheme mirrors the Italian flag, celebrating the essence of Italian cuisine.
In this reimagined version, we’ll add an extra layer of savory delight to the traditional Caprese salad. By introducing some additional ingredients and flavors, we aim to elevate this timeless dish into a heartier and more satisfying appetizer or side.
Prepare the Salad:
- Wash the tomatoes and basil leaves. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
- Arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices on a serving platter, alternating them.
- Tuck fresh basil leaves between the tomato and mozzarella slices.
- Scatter the thinly sliced red onions, Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted pine nuts over the salad.
Make the Dressing:
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and Dijon mustard.
- Whisk the dressing until well emulsified.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning to your preference.
Drizzle and Serve:
- Drizzle the prepared dressing over the Caprese salad.
- Garnish with a few additional basil leaves, if desired.
- Serve immediately and enjoy this savory twist on the classic Caprese salad.
The Perfect Balance: This Savory Caprese Salad pays homage to the traditional Italian classic by preserving its core elements – tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil – while introducing savory, complementary ingredients that add depth and a touch of Mediterranean richness. The briny Kalamata olives, the umami of sun-dried tomatoes, and the crunchy roasted pine nuts harmonize beautifully with the fresh, vibrant flavors of the original Caprese.
This dish is perfect for gatherings, as an appetizer, or even as a light summer meal. The balance of flavors and textures will impress your guests and transport them to the sunny shores of Capri. Buon appetito!