Insalatta Caprese / Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is addictive. The flavors and textures of this salad will make you hum, hum again and ask for more. This is a classic Italian salad that combines tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil. They are also a three musketeers salad as the three main ingredients work so well together.

Every time I pass by those scrumptious, plump, vine ripe, juicy tomatoes in the market I hear a voice in my head: Caprese Salad, Caprese Salad and the next thing I know I'm frantically looking for fresh basil.

Found it!

Then I quickly go look for fresh mozzarella. I run home and as soon as I enter the kitchen the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper practically jump down to the counter cause they know it's Caprese Salad time.

Now the biggest dilemma is 'how' do I want to assemble the salad. Do I want the salad on a big plate or on individual plates. Do I want to dice all ingredients and chop the basil or do I want to slice them? 
You can be creative with the presentation. Sometimes I leave the basil leaves whole and sometimes I cut them Julienne (very thin slices)

What You Need:
  • 4 tomatoes sliced, 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella sliced, 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil cut in thin strips or whole
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • black olives are a great addition but they are optional
What To Do:

Make the seasoning first.
Gather the ingredients.

Put the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and oregano in a salad dressing jar.  
Give it a good shake.

Now prepare the other ingredients:
The cheese I bought was oval.
I had to figure out a way to make round slices

If you find fresh mozzarella shaped like a ball, then just slice it.

I got a measuring cup and used it to make a round shape on the cheese.

Slice the cheese.  
The little bits on the top were for the cook while cooking :)

Slices the tomatoes and save the top for decoration if you wish to arrange the salad they way I did on the picture above. 

Cut the basil if you want it Julienned.

Or remove the leaves from the stems if you are adding them whole.

There are many ways to arrange this salad. You basically alternate tomato and cheese slices and put the basil on top, add black olives if you wish and drizzle with the dressing.

Bon Appétit!

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