Under the Apron Strings: Caprese Salad
With August in full swing, tomatoes are top of mind. Tomatoes are something to be taken very seriously here in the South. From personal experiences, like growing up with Daddy’s garden to Nashville’s own Tomato Art Fest, us Tennesseans have a certain reverence for the tomato plant.
Nothing quite highlights the beautiful, tasty simplicity of a tomato like Caprese Salad.
If there was one dish for summer that I could live on, it would be just that. Tomatoes and basil straight from the garden, mozzarella, vinaigrette – my mouth is watering!
I first tasted this wonderful dish many years ago while in Italy. Known from the 1920s as Insalata Caprese, it has a tricolor presentation that represents the Italian flag. It became a Capri staple for me, as I ordered it for lunch and dinner every day.
3 to 4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, sliced thickly about 1/4 inches
Fresh Mozzarella cheese (16 ounces), sliced thickly about 1/4 inches
Fresh basil leaves, approximately 32
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh oregano and arugula if desired, chopped
Toasted baguette, if desired, sliced
Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella slices on a tray. Place basil leaves between the slices.
Drizzle olive oil all over the top of the salad. Repeat with balsamic oil.
Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
Garnish with oregano and arugula.
Serve with toasted baguette or alongside any main-course dish.
You can find recipes just like this in Servin’ Up Summer available for purchase here. It’s my newest collection of recipes. Servin’ Up Summer includes my favorite summer dishes, cocktails, and desserts. It’s a taste of summer in the South on every page. Available now for only $29.95.