Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese ("salad in the Capri style" in Italian) is a nice fresh treat and a change from everyday meals. Made properly, it is light and refreshing and actually quite filling. You really need the proper ingredients, or it will never have the tryly fresh taste that is it's essence.

1/2 lb fresh mozzarella cheese
2 medium tomatoes, slice 1/4 " thick (very fresh or vine-ripened)
12 fresh basil leaves
coarse salt
fresh ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil (best you can afford)

2 T drained capers
2 oz. prosciutto

Overlap slices of mozzarella and tomato in a circular pattern around your plate. If adding prosciutto, include that in your pattern. I also included whole basil leaves as well in the pattern as well, although traditionally, they are torn up and scattered on top. If using capers, scatter them evenly across the salad.

Add the salt and freshly-ground pepper. Just before serving, drizzle the olive oil over the salad. Always do this last, as you don't want it just sitting in oil. Serve with torn fresh artisan bread.

Let's talk about the mozzarella. You just can't use the regular store-bought square block of cheese. Fresh mozzarella most commonly sold in a liquid, either salt water or whey. Sometimes it is shrink-wrapped, almost always it is in the form of white balls. The taste, texture and consistency of fresh is so very removed from the regular store bought stuff. If you can't find fresh mozzarella, skip making the dish. Looks like this:

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