Are you ready for a super simple appetizer, one where you don’t need to cook anything, has only five ingredients and can be put together in about 10 minutes with no fuss? I forgot to mention that it’ll draw some mmm’s and ahh’s from whoever you serve it to also. Tomato, basil and mozzarella are not new players to the field of flavor but they can rarely be topped especially if they’re all fresh, and I know your thinking, well I wouldn’t use ingredients that weren’t fresh but if you get the tomatoes at their juiciest and sweetest, basil which is a deep dark green and some glugs of extra virgin olive oil…well need I say more?
I found that The Caprese salad came from Campania, region in Southern Italy just above the “foot” if you still look at the country as a giant boot. When I eat Caprese it just gives me one more reason to add to my already long list of reasons to visit Italy. The food is simple but surreptitiously lavish and usually easily prepared unless it’s a slow cooked meat sauce or chicken cacciatore. I’ll make it their one day and when I do I’ll be sure to eat like a bear coming out of hibernation!nd the recipe for this appetizer a long time ago in Bon Appetit. It was one of a few recipes featured by Chef Nancy Silverton whose accolades run a mile long and include the founding of La Brea Bakery here in Los Angeles. The great thing about this dish is that it makes it’s own sauce which is a result of the salt drawing out the juices from the tomato and mixing with the olive oil. Don’t make the mistake of using regular table salt if you decide to try this, it just wont work. Most of the time salt is added to a dish to season but in this appetizer the salt is as important as the basil or the tomatoes. I used smoked sea salt flakes from Maldon.
I’m linking this recipe up to the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, hosted by Cassie from Bake Your Day and Ali from Gimme Some Oven. These two girls are helping to spread awareness about Florida’s tomato industry, where almost all of our countries off season crop is grown. This is where reports of modern day slavery have been reported within the farming communities and many huge companies are joining forces to ensure the Fair Food Program helps the farmers and harvest workers get what they deserve. Be sure to check out Cassie and Ali’s blogs as they have some great prizes to be won if you link up a tomato dish!
Recipe for Heirloom Caprese by Nancy Silverton: Prep Time- 10 minutes Yield- 2 servings
8 ounces of small heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil
4 ounce ball of buffalo mozzarella
Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel to sprinkle
1 mini baguette for the grilled toast
1 garlic clove
Slice the bread on a diagonal and drizzle with olive oil. Grill for about 1-2 minutes each side above a high heat. Rub each side with a fresh garlic clove. Set aside
Halve the tomatoes and transfer to a bowl. Add the salt and olive oil, gently toss together letting the juice come out from the tomatoes. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Slice the mozzarella evenly and place onto a plate. Spoon the tomato mixture around the cheese including some of the oil juice. Sprinkle with some sea salt and place some leaves of fresh basil onto the plate. Place a slice of the grilled bread on the side and serve.