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It’s still winter, the nights are bitterly cold under a clear sky w/ sparkling stars while during the day the sun tries to warm up the air. So – the mood is full of spring … This morning I was outside walking for almost an hour in this fresh crispy air invigorating my body & soul.
What to eat? I wasn’t up for any elaborate cooked meal, but longed for some freshness on my table.
Well … tomatoes are definitely best in summer, however, tomatoes are available all year round in my trusted food store. So w/ spring in the air let’s try the ultimate summer treat: insalata caprese. (We call it just caprese.)
There are red tomatoes, white cheese & green basil leaves. As long as you can organize fresh, ripe tomatoes & have some pot w/ fresh basil on your window sill you can do caprese. I like to do caprese as a light weeknight dinner accompanied by some Italian bread (or French bread…).
When following my Instagram you’ve seen that my better half & I made a weekend trip to Maastricht in the Netherlands. It was a weekend w/ brilliant weather & we enjoyed sitting in the sun, having some espresso, some beer, some sandwich … Somehow spring had arrived in Maastricht – so the idea of caprese, planned for this week, didn’t seem strange to me.
Of course the the Russian attack casts a dark cloud over everything we do & plan … Nobody can escape our cruel daily reality – I can’t believe that it’s just somewhat more than 2 weeks since Russia started this war. We can only try to help & keep walking … for a solution to stop the killing.
Coming back to caprese …
We need only few basic ingredients, but these should be excellent …
- ripe tomatoes
- creamy buffalo mozzarella or burrata
- fresh basil leaves
- a very good olive oil
- a very good balsamic vinegar
- (… of course … salt & pepper).
Concerning the tomatoes:
- If working w/ big tomatoes, i. e. what you usually call tomatoes, you’ll need about 1-2 per person.
- If working w/ cherry tomatoes or plum tomatoes, which I usually prefer, let’s take about 5-6 per person.
- If working w/ any tomatoes in between (from size) just adjust.
We start with preparing a plate by adding olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Next step: salt & pepper. You need not mix it or shake it vigorously like a vinaigrette … just pour it on the plate!
Small tomatoes will be cut into halves. I you work w/ big tomatoes cut them in slices. (Usually, when preparing caprese for more than 2 people like arranging a big plate for a buffet, it’s always better to have tomato slices which will be nicely arranged w/ mozzarella slices alternatingly. I think that burrata is far too soft for such an arrangement.)
Take half of a tomato (or a slice!) & put it face down in the oil-vinegar mess & rub in the mess. Then put it face up & let it rest on the plate.
After having processed all tomatoes cut the mozzarella in pieces resp. tear apart the burrata. Just distribute the pieces all over the tomatoes. Finally pluck basil leaves & arrange on top.
caprese is best served together w/ some fresh & crispy Italian or French bread. You’ll need the bread especially for soaking up the delicious mix of olive oil & balsamic vinegar!
Maybe … you’ve noticed that there was a post on caprese some years ago. Yes – that’s correct, however, this post doesn’t exist any longer. My blog grew from year to year, my photography evolved, WP version changed, plugins upgraded or not – or even vanished into thin air … in short: some posts from the beginning of my blog life didn’t meet today’s challenges any longer … so I cleaned the blog up. caprese is one of my favorites – because it’s so easy & delicious & may be created as a starter as well as a light lunch or dinner. Therefore caprese must not go AWOL from my blog!
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes
- 1 ball mozzarella or burrata (about 125 g)
- basil leaves
- Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to a plate (or bowl).
- Cut the tomatoes in halves & add to the dressing. Mix w/ a spoon.
- Cut the mozzarella into small pieces or tear the burrata apart & put on top of the tomatoes.
- Take the basil leaves & put on top of everything.