Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad, Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Basil

Caprese Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-5

Caprese salad is made with only four main ingredients, so it is important that you use the best ingredients possible.  I like to use mozzarella di bufala (mozzarella made with buffalo milk). You can find an imported Italian brand in most warehouse clubs. Otherwise buy the best fresh mozzarella you can find from an Italian cheese store. I have been craving this salad since my recent trip to Italy. I went with my sister, niece and cousins. We had a great trip, but the one thing that my niece, Jasmine, had to have every day was Insalata Caprese. We visited Capri where this salad originates. The tomatoes were at their peak, and the mozzarella di bufala was the best we ever had. So, with this traditional Caprese recipe, I am reliving my trip to Italy.

Ingredients:
1 – lb. ripe Campari or vine ripened tomatoes
10 – oz. mozzarella di bufala
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 – fresh basil leaves
1/4 – tsp. dried oregano
Salt

Directions:
Slice tomatoes in 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange them on a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and oregano, then drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the tomatoes.

Campari tomatoes

Slice the mozzarella in 1/4 inch thick slices, and arrange them on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with a little salt and a pinch of oregano. Taste the mozzarella before you add salt to determine how much is needed. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cheese and top with pieces of basil. Tear the basil with your hands; do not cut it with a knife.

Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil

Serve immediately.

Buon appetito!
Caprese, Salad, Tomatoes, Mozzarella




Farro Salad

farro-salad

Insalata di Farro

Farro is an ancient grain that has a nutty flavor with a nice bite to it. Not only is it delicious, but it is also high in fiber and protein and is a good source of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and multiple B vitamins.  Please note that it is not gluten free.

Ingredients:

1 – cup farro
1 – cucumber
½ – cup diced red onion
1 – red bell pepper
1 – cup frozen peas
1 – can black beans
15 – grape tomatoes
4 – fresh basil leaves
½ – tsp. dried oregano
1 – tsp. fresh thyme
1 – tsp. fresh parsley
¼ – cup extra virgin olive oil
½ – tsp. salt
½ – tsp. fresh ground black pepper
½ – tsp. Adobo seasoning

Directions:

Cook the farro according to the package directions. Be sure to add salt to the water. Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables and herbs and place them in a large bowl. Peel the cucumber and dice along with the red bell pepper and red onion, making them all the same size. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, add the frozen peas, and the finely chopped fresh herbs.  Mix all together in the large bowl.

When the farro is cooked, drain and let cool. While it is cooling you can add about 1/3 of the olive oil so that is does not stick together. Once cool, add to the vegetable mixture. Add the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper, and Adobo. Mix well. Add more olive oil if it seems to dry. Adjust taste by adding more herbs and salt if desired.

Serve at room temperature.

Note: you can use any fresh vegetable that you like in this dish. The ones I have used are only a suggestion.