One of the most famous salads of the world demands RESPECT.
ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 8€ for 2 salads)
- 2 packs 125 gr small mozzarella in brine
- 30 cherry tomatoes
- 30 mint leaves
- Roasted pine nuts
- EV Olive oil
- Coarse Pepper (optional)
First of all, an aesthetics question: Do you like the “caprese salads”, prepared by miserable cooks especially at the islands? Those with industrial, tasteless and watery tomatoes which look like an Italian flag? If you like it, this is not the recipe you need.
The caprese salad can be also a great dish if we use first quality ingredients and avoid to practice our elementary school level decoration skills.
Which are these ingredients?
a) Extra virgin olive oil, organic of course. For this dish I prefer a gentle oil which helps the not too powerful aromas of mozzarella and cherry tomatoes to stand out.
b) Mozzarella (the normal, big ones or that in smaller pieces) in brine. And of course MADE IN ITALY. This is the only acceptable mozzarella. Not the Danish or German ones.
c) Organic and PRE-SALTED tomatoes or cherry tomatoes.
d) A fresh herb, usually basil, but also mint or spearmint.
So, we start by washing and cutting in halves widthways the cherry tomatoes. We also cut their edges, in order to create a flat surface.
After that, we salt them well and we put them in a colander for half an hour. During this time the tomatoes will loose water and will develop their aroma.
Then, we lightly pat dry the tomatoes and the pieces of mozzarella and we start plating them along with the fresh herbs.
At this salad I used fresh mint leaves, as I think that they are a good alternative of the basil.
The roasted pine nuts gives to the dish the desired texture and along with the olive oil, the salt and – if we want – the pepper make the dressing for our beautiful salad.