Caprese Salad, otherwise known as Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil
This salad has become a staple on the Irish bbq spread. It’s tasty, attractive and so easy to make. But you can make a complete ham of it by using cheap and nasty ingredients. So take my word for it, use only the best. Excellent vine ripened tomatoes (from your own vine, ha ha.) Tomatoes taste like they smell. If there is no smell there will be sod all taste. Buffalo mozzarella, yes, made from the milk of the water buffalo. And now we even have our own home produced one, Toons Bridge from North Cork. The basil must be fresh and fragrant. Don’t bother making this salad without it. And to top the lot, good balsamic vinegar (little trick to make cheap balsamic taste like aged, add half a teaspoon of sugar to a cup of the vinegar, bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by one third, cool to room temp), extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. It’s a summer must.
What you need:
1 lb. of vine ripened tomatoes
1 Toons Bridge buffalo mozzarella or other buffalo mozzarella
handful of fresh basil
Aged balsamic vinegar (or as above)
Good extra virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt
Black pepper grinder (full of peppercorns of course)
What you do:
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella thinly (3-5mm thick) and arrange in circles
Rip the larger basil leaves gently in half, leave smaller ones whole and sprinkle over the top. Save one basil head for decoration.
Drizzle the oil first as it will stop the vinegar from running and staining, drizzle the vinegar and then season at will.