“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Insalata Caprese

Ciao a tutti!! When I’m in Italy, something that I really look forward to eating is a beautiful, fresh Insalata Caprese. It’s just a perfect meal. Milky and creamy mozzarella, plump, juicy tomatoes and sweet fragrant basil  with a drizzle of beautiful olive oil and sprinkle of salt. 

I certainly eat Insalata Caprese in America, but……they’re just not the same. The big thing for me…the tomatoes. Tomatoes in Italy are just amazing. The oil, air, water and sun in Italy all contribute to the extraordinary quality and taste of the tomatoes. When I was first in Ischia the summer of 2011, we brought some tomatoes at the local market, took them home and cut them in half and ate them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bliss. We had never had such good tomatoes. Honestly, they just taste different then what we have back home.

So..one day while wandering around Rome, literally, just wandering and seeing what we found, we weren’t looking for anything specific, just taking in all of the beauty, we came across a little trattoria and decided to give it a try. I ordered the Insalata Caprese and did not regret it. Another key to making a fantastic insalata is getting REAL mozzarella. Not the kind packaged in the supermarket. You need to find a place that sells fresh, milky mozzarella.

I know this may sound like the most, simple, easiest recipe ever and it is…but that’s one of the reasons I love it so much. You’ll be amazed at how something so simple, can taste so incredible. Buon Appetito!!

Insalata Caprese

3 vine ripe tomatoes (cut into ¼ inch thick slices)
1 pound fresh mozzarella (cut into ¼ inch thick slices)
1 bunch fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)
Salt and Pepper

Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding some basil between. Drizzle the top of the salad with the olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper (quanto basta!). Enjoy!!