Thursday, August 30, 2007

Insalata Caprese

It occurred to me today when I was making lunch, that I had to write a blog about Caprese salads, since it is a main staple in my life in Florence. These salads have always been one of my favorite, even before moving to Florence, and appear on every menu here. They are so easy to make, it seems a shame to buy one in a restaurant, and I started having them for lunch when I first arrived.

In March, the tomatoes here were already fabulous. In Southern Italy, they grow tomatoes all year, and they are sweet and delicious, and I think I could turn into one by now. I know that there are many months where you cannot find a good tomato on the East coast in the states. Not so here!

The salad is the color of the Italian flag. Red tomatoes, either large sliced or the smaller cherry or grape variety, mozzarella cheese (either the small balls, or large ones sliced to fit the tomatoes,) and slivers of fresh basil. Since I am trying to be "the good Italian", I of course have a fresh basil plant in my apartment! You combine these three ingredients, add salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and enjoy! Nothing is better on a hot summer day, that’s for sure!

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