The original Caprese salad was created in the 1950’s in Capri. It consisted of only sliced tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella cheese, dressed in olive oil.
Since then, other versions were created. Most had basil in them, which resulted a more “patriotic” looking salad, as it has the colors of the Italian flag: green, red and white.
The Caprese purists claim the salad should not have any other seasoning but the olive oil, as the cheese is too delicate for any dressing. Yet, after tasting a few of these salads, I’ve decided that with all due respect to the classic version, it could benefit from a bit more flavor and texture.
I’ve decided not to slice the cheese, but rather “pull” it. I was surprised to see that the cheese actually tasted different (and I believe better) this way. I also liked the rustic presentation it created.
Other changes I’ve made were the use of colorful cherry tomatoes, adding a light touch of sweet/sour aged Balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses, and raw pistachios on top, for a crunchy texture and even more color.
Served with rustic bread or fresh focaccia, this salad is a perfect dish for a hot summer day.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Fresh basil leaves, washed and dried in a salad spinner
About 4.5 oz (130 grams) high quality very fresh mozzarella
10-12 assorted cherry tomatoes
Freshly ground 4 pepper mix
A drizzle of aged Balsamic vinegar
A drizzle of pomegranate molasses
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
A handful of raw peeled pistachios
1. Arrange a few basil leaves on a large plate. Chop a couple of leaves roughly and set aside.
2. Pull the cheese into long stripes and place on top of the basil in the plate.
3. Slice the cherry tomatoes lengthwise, and add to the plate.
4. Season lightly with salt, pepper. Drizzle lightly the Balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Scatter the chopped basil and the pistachios on top and serve.