“Not so classic” Caprese Salad
Caprese Salad refers to a Tomato & Mozzarella salad. The more common variety of this salad features fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. And while nothing is quite a wonderful as a vine ripened fresh tomato in the peak of summer, nothing is quite as terrible as a fresh tomato grown halfway around the world in the dead of winter. So with one of two main ingredients being extremely seasonal, it’s hard to find a really good Caprese salad in the northeast during winter. Unless, you roast the tomatoes!
Slow roasting plum tomatoes in the oven helps bring all their sweetness and delicious rich flavors out. The tomatoes are absolutely delicious served by themselves, in a salad, alongside a chicken or steak, but my favorite way to serve these roasted tomatoes is by making a Caprese salad. This twist on Tomato & Mozzarella salad will have you dreaming of summer.
With so few ingredients in this Caprese salad, or any Caprese salad, the quality of the ingredients in this dish is vital to its success. You need to select really good fresh mozzarella, preferably from a good Italian market or cheese shop. I use a basic balsamic vinegar for the roasting, and I finish with a high quality, thick balsamic that I use sparingly for drizzling.
If you are local to 203 or 914, my favorite fresh mozzarella is made by Liuzzi Cheese which is made in Hamden, CT, but sold at Greenwich/Fairfield Cheese Shop and other markets where available. My favorite balsamic used strictly for drizzling is Compagnia DelMontale Vigna Oro which is a thicker style of Balsamic Vinegar, but not quite as thick or sweet as a balsamic syrup. It’s about $30.00 at Whole Foods, which is why I use it very sparingly, but it lasts forever and is absolutely delicious!