When I first started cooking, I use to worry that the food I was preparing would be bland so I became quite heavy-handed when using seasonings and spices. And honestly, I never got any complaints. But recently after visiting with my family from Italy, I realized I was doing this all wrong. As Leonardo DaVinci once said, “La semplicità è l’ultima sofisticazione” – or simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. And this is true with food as well.
This side dish is sophisticated enough for a dinner party but simple enough to be a daily go-to. Although there are many variations on the caprese salad, this is the way I love it best.
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 1 ripe tomato (I prefer home-grown beef steak, but you choose what you like!)
- olive oil (the better the olive oil, the better the taste)
- salt (I use Borsari seasoning salt)
- Balsmaic vinegar (optional)
- 1/2 red onion (optional)
- 1 ripe avocado (optional)
Cut the mozzarella and tomato into about 1/4 inch slices. Cut large basil leaves in half, smaller ones can remain whole. Alternate the ingredients in layers in a row on a long plate (start with either the mozzarella or tomato first to keep it all together). Cut the onion and avocado in 1 inch chunks and garnish around the caprese salad. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle in olive oil and finish with a touch of balsamic (if desired).
This recipe is so easy and delicious, you’ll be making it all summer!