Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bite-size Caprese

This is my favorite time of year. Our little garden is exploding with flavor - tomatoes are ripening every day and our basil plants are going strong. What to do, what to do?

This is my new invention this summer: bite-size Caprese salad. I've loved insalata Caprese since studying abroad in Italy and visiting the island of Capri 10 years ago. It's so simple, but it depends entirely on good tomatoes. Mealy, off-season tomatoes? Your Caprese will suck. (A note on pronunciation: Caprese is 3-syllables - kuh-PRAY-zay - and if you can roll the R a little, even better. Do not say kuh-prees or kuh-preez.)

This particular take on Caprese is great for picnics and appetizers. All you need are toothpicks, basil leaves, small tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. Fresh mozzarella can usually be found in the "fancy cheese" section of your grocery store. It's sold in a ball shape and sitting in liquid, which is usually water, whey or a brine solution. For this recipe I use the small balls, called boconccini.

With a toothpick, spear a tomato, a mozzarella ball, and a basil leaf. Ta-da! A tasty little morsel. A little drizzle of olive oil and cracked pepper and sea salt is delicious, too.

Happy mid-summer treat!

1 comment:

  1. This is a fabulous idea, and also a perfect dish for a summery picnic in the park! Thanks for sharing!