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Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Salad

In Italy, it's often called insalata caprese (Capri salad). Now, every Italian restaurant in America is serving this dish, which spread like wildfire in the eighties. There's only one problem: unless it's made with absolutely fresh, stunningly high-quality mozzarella, it can be a leaden disappointment. Mozzarella tastes best within hours of its manufacture, when the cheese is still soft, resilient, and oozing milk. After 24 hours, it loses those properties altogether. Another potential stumbling block in this recipe is the tomatoes: unless they're rich and ripe, the dish, once again, turns pallid. If fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes are not available to you, skip ahead to the next recipe. Serves 12 as a first course

SKU 538-Recipe