Yeah, I know…it’s simple. But, HEY! It’s DEE-lish!
Insalata Caprese (salad in the style of Capri) is a simple salad from the Italian region of Campania, made of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, and is traditionally seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. In Italy, unlike most salads, it is usually served as an antipasto (first course), not a contorno (side dish).
Insalata caprese is sometimes called insalata tricolore, tricolore refers to the three colors of the Italian flag. In these other salads, the red is often from radicchio or bell peppers rather than tomatoes.
- 3-4 large vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices (heirloom, beefsteak, etc)
- 1 pound FRESH mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices (the large balls – NOT the hard brick! I used the mini balls because that’s all I could find)
- 10-15 leaves fresh basil
The balsamic reduction:
- 3 cups balsamic vinegar
- 2+ hours before you are wanting to serve this – Pour the vinegar in a heavy pot. Heat on low and simmer. Reduce until syrupy, or to desired consistency, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. It is done when it sticks to a wooden spoon. Will thicken upon cooling. (this CAN be refrigerated and FYI – it will reduce to 1/4 of what you started with)
- Layer alternating slices of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil on a plate or platter. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction. And… Bon A petit!