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Caprese Salad (A Refreshing Summer Plate)

Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2021
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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caprese salad

Caprese salad is a favorite Italian-style dish! It is made of freshly sliced mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and is seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, and cracked black pepper. Sometimes balsamic vinegar is added. Here is a delicious version of a Caprese salad featuring a balsamic glaze to add depths of flavor. The glaze can be purchased at your local market or made at home.

Home balsamic glaze recipe:

  • Pour 2 cups of good quality balsamic vinegar into a saucepan
  • Cook over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble
  • Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the vinegar becomes thick, glossy and coats the back of a spoon (about 20 mins.)
  • Remove from heat. As it cools, the glaze will thicken further
  • Store in an airtight mason jar and keep in the fridge

 Some people cook sweeteners, such as brown sugar or honey, with vinegar to create the glaze, but it is unnecessary when using high-quality balsamic vinegar.  

 *Glaze can also be used to make other dressings or be drizzled on cooked meats or vegetables.

Caprese salad recipe:

  • In an alternating circular pattern, arrange ¼ thick slices of 4-5 clean medium-ripe heirloom tomatoes and one lb. of high-quality fresh mozzarella (of similarly sized slices) on a platter, slightly overlapping each other
  •  Tuck the leaves of 3/4 cup clean, fresh basil in between the tomatoes and mozzarella slices
  • Optional for garlic lovers: Evenly sprinkle ½ tsp. to 1 tsp. of garlic powder over the top (Or sprinkle one to two cloves of finely minced fresh garlic over the top)
  • Evenly season to taste with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • Drizzle with 2 ½ Tablespoons of your favorite high-quality olive oil
  • Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of balsamic glaze
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp. dried oregano over the top
  • Let rest 15 mins. Then serve slices and enjoy!

Interesting Caprese salad fun facts:

  • In Italy, Caprese salad is usually served as an antipasto (starter).
  • The salad is named after the Island of Capri, where it is thought to have originated.
  • In Italy, the dish is titled ‘Insalata Caprese.’
  • Caprese became popular in the 1950s after King Farouk was served a Caprese sandwich.
  • The first restaurant to mention Caprese salad is believed to be the 5-star Hotel Quisisana, Island of Capri.
  • Many people state that the tri-color presentation is intentional to represent the Italian flag (green, white, and red)
  • The juice of the tomato helps to keep the dish moist.
  • Mozzarella cheese contains the macronutrient protein and is a source of calcium, a mineral necessary for life.
  • Basil contains essential oils that may lower cholesterol and triglycerides. It is also a source of magnesium, which helps improve blood flow.
  • Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, linked to reduced rates of heart disease and cancers.
  • Olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties and contains a variety of antioxidants that can help prevent or slow damage to cells.
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