Caprese Salad, it’s one of those dishes that is such a signature of Italian cooking. In fact, this salad isn’t even cooking. Just beautiful fresh ingredients with barely any preparation and you have a total taste explosion. Of course, such simplicity can also bring you undone in a big hurry, because if you aren’t starting with great ingredients it can all go south at a rapid rate.
Luckily for me though, I am fortunate enough to have the freshest of ingredients to work with. The tomatoes and basil came straight from the vege patch that morning. There is nothing quite like the taste of a tomato straight off the bush, maybe a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper if you’re feeling particularly indulgent (and can restrain yourself from eating the tomatoes long enough to make it back to the kitchen!).
Of course, while I am excellent at the eating part, the same can’t be said of my produce growing abilities… Sadly I don’t seem to have inherited the green thumb that is supposed to be part of the Italian genetics, instead I got the black thumb of death. Oh well, at least I can cook!
What you see above, is the result of my Dad’s hard work in the vege patch. You see, he did inherit the green thumb and for as long as I can remember he’s been growing beautiful tomatoes every summer. As well as eggplant, basil, zucchini, beans, salad greens… I could go on forever. Last year he even experimented with garlic, I cannot tell you how good it tastes! The garlic is definitely going into permanent rotation in the garden.
Three ingredients is all you need to make this, six if you count the olive oil and salt & pepper, but I don’t count those – they’re pantry essentials after all. Tomatoes and (the freshest you can possibly find) and bocconcini cheese. That’s it. That’s all you need for this simple classic salad. As long as you start with great ingredients, this is actually a very forgiving recipe; actually, I’m not even sure you can call it a recipe it’s that easy. You can slice up the tomatoes and bocconcini, or maybe you’d prefer to chop it into chunks. Whatever takes your fancy really. Arrange on a plate, sprinkle with a good sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, drizzle with olive and that’s it, summer on a plate.
- 1 tomato, chopped or sliced
- 1 piece of bocconcini, torn into pieces or sliced
- Fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Arrange the tomato and bocconcini on a plate
- Scatter the fresh basil leaves over the top
- Sprinkle with fresh sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Drizzle with olive oil, as much or as little as you like!