Basil Caprese with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
I love caprese... like, I could eat it, maybe not every day, but probably every other. I started growing my on basil so I can step outside and grab some fresh basil leaves and practice my “chiffonade” skills (fine, delicate shreds), and make me some caprese. The fresh mozzarella has gotten remarkably easy to locate and the price has also come way down since I originally fell in love with this dish. So the only thing holding me back from a plate of fabulous is finding perfectly ripe, delicious tomatoes. I think I might have to try my hand at tomatoes again... I haven’t had the best of luck with them in the past.
You can make a meal out of caprese (I have many times), or an appetizer or side dish. And it is a breeze to make.
Tomatoes- Your pick but meatier tomatoes tend to do better than watery ones with lots of seeds.
Fresh Mozzarella- The absolute best is always packed in water.
Extra Virgin, Cold Press Olive Oil- Kirkland’s is not only a great buy, but it also ranks high on taste against much more expensive brands. Pompeian is another descent yet inexpensive brand.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena- It is worth trying to find this Balsamic Vinegar. Unlike the watery balsamics you might be familiar with shaking atop your salad, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is a thick balsamic, made from a particular grape, from a particular part of Italy. It is much thicker and allows for a beautiful drizzle that sticks to every bite.
Fresh Basil- The dried stuff just won’t work to enhance the flavors of this dish.
And some might think it heresy, but I truly believe you should salt your tomato slices before starting your layering process.
Easy peasy...- Slice your tomatoes (and salt them... it brings out the flavor).- Slice your fresh mozzarella... or if you go upscale and go for the Burrata (fresh mozzarella stuffed with creamy curd), place that baby in the center of your plate so you can cut and dip into it.- Wash those basil leaves with a gentle hand, shake them dry and cup the leaves together. Roll the leaves along the long the long edge. Then finely slice across the roll, producing fine shreads.- Layer your tomatoes and mozzarella , or place the tomatoes around the Burrata.- Drizzle liberally with olive oil.- Give a splash-drizzle of the balsamic.- Sprinkle the basil generously.
That’s it! You are ready to serve and enjoy.
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