With all the rain we have been having, your herb garden should be huge! Basil in particular grows in abundance very easily.
One way to make the most of fresh basil is making a simple caprese salad. This salad from the Capania region brings some of the beauty of the gorgeous island of Capri to your kitchen table.
Assembling this dish couldn’t be easier. It is intoxicating for your family or guests to watch you layer slices of juicy plum tomato, buffalo mozzarella and a freshly picked basil leaf and drizzle it all in your best olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Although this dish is served as an antipasto in Italy, you can serve it as a side dish or use it as a jumping off point for countless other fresh, delicious meals.
Place a few bundles of caprese salad into two slices of wholegrain bread and pop into a panini press and you’ve got a great grilled caprese. Grill chicken on the barbecue, top with caprese and pop it under the broiler until the cheese melts. Or simply place it on a pile of mixed greens from the garden and add balsamic vinegar, a little more olive oil and salt and pepper for a healthy summer salad.
Fly the colors of the Italian flag on your dinner table tonight. Your family may say, “Bellissima!”
- 4 ripe plum tomatoes sliced into discs
- 1 8-oz pkg. buffalo mozzarella sliced into discs (my Italian family may shudder to see this but Bel Gioioso sells theirs pre-sliced for Caprese! Shhh, don’t tell my Zia!)
- handful of freshly picked basil leaves
- drizzle of your best olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Layer tomato, mozzarella, basil in rows, circles or any other shape that inspires you.
Drizzle with one or two tablespoons of your best olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Serve at room temperature to allow flavors to become more enhanced.
Make a larger batch and store in your fridge to whip out for sandwiches, wraps, salads and toppings for grilled chicken.