EXPERIENCE THE FRESH FLAVOURS OF SUMMER IN EACH BITE
Hard-core tomato lovers will eat caprese salad for breakfast especially if they can walk out to their back garden to pick all the fresh ingredients that go into making this traditional Italian dish.
What is caprese salad?
The caprese salad is simple to make and was created to resemble the Italian flag, red, white and green and served as an antipasto to start a meal. You can find caprese salad on restaurant menus and pre-made at the grocery store but the best caprese salad is one that you make at home in your kitchen with the freshest of ingredients.
A typical caprese salad recipe consists of fresh juicy organic tomatoes cut into thin slices, fresh buffalo mozzarella, tonnes of fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil. Non-traditional caprese salad also called insalata caprese is drizzled with a balsamic reduction or a fresh lemon vinaigrette seasoned with salt and pepper. You can also add lettuce, garlic, parsley and other fresh herbs to create different variations of the caprese salad which we are doing today.
Let me tell you that if you make an Italian caprese salad like this you’ll want to go and hide and gobble it up for yourself because it’s simply delicious and perfect for a light summer lunch, afternoon or evening snack, a side-dish or as a main meal paired with a protein such as beef or even thin slices of prosciutto which we prefer.
Caprese Salad Party Dish with a twist
Just about every time we have a back-yard BBQ or a gathering at our house in the summer you can bet there will be lots of fresh salads including a caprese salad. It’s a party food that your guests will love over and over but you don’t have to stick to the original recipe every time.
Over the years my wife and I have experimented with different types of caprese salad dishes and we’ve come up with a few favourites, one of which we will share with you today.
Wrap it up with lettuce please
Since my wife is on a low-carb diet she will gobble a caprese salad up and this makes for a simple dish for those who come to your party and pass on the carb-filled foods. The big rage these days is burgers wrapped in lettuce, taco lettuce wraps, lettuce wraps with all sorts of fillings. Lettuce, lettuce, lettuce is taking over the bread and people are loving it.
What is delightful about our stunning caprese salad party dish is you can serve the entire dish at your party with a large platter fork and spoon so each guest can remove a section to put on their dish. If you are serving the caprese salad as an appetizer they are perfect to portion with ham, Italian prosciutto or any other flavourful thin sliced meat.
Make it fresh and organic
Going all the way with fresh organic vegetables and fresh buffalo mozzarella is the key to a perfect caprese salad. We kept the fresh organic part of this traditional salad and bumped it up with gorgeous room temperature triple brie, organic lettuce greens, thin-sliced cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, thin-sliced red onion, garden fresh basil leaves and drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette.
We’ve served this dish twice now and our guests rave about it because they love the creamy brie paired with the vegetables and splash of lemon and extra virgin olive oil. Typically we either serve this as a party food appetizer or part of the main meal alongside marinated pork, beef, chicken or Shrimp skewers with pineapple on the grill.
The idea is to use a soft cheese in place of the fresh buffalo mozzarella and thin sliced vegetables that pair nicely with a tomato and basil flavours. We like to make this in advance and always serve it at room temperature giving the flavours time to come together. The salt and lemon will draw out all the gorgeous flavours in your vine-ripened tomatoes this way.
How to make a Caprese Salad Party Dish
- 2 large organic tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1 large cup of fresh basil leaves (add more if you'd like)
- ½ wheel of triple brie (enough for 1-2 slices on each tomato)
- 1 seedless cucumber
- 2 cups of fresh organic baby lettuce greens
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon freshly squeezed
- In a glass jar add your freshly squeezed lemon, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste (you can always add but you can't take away so start with a small amount)
- Shake the vinaigrette until it is combined, taste it for flavour and then set aside so the flavours marry
- Find a large plastic platter or a party dish
- Set little baskets of lettuce greens all around the party dish
- Slice your tomatoes about ½ inch thick and set them on top of the greens in no specific order but uniform is always pretty
- On top of your tomatoes add ½ inch sliced cucumbers and thin slices of red onion
- Finish the caprese with gorgeous 1 inch slices of triple brie (you can add as much or little as you like) and all the basil leaves your heart desires. I like to add them whole or rip up any large leaves.
- Drizzle the lemon vinaigrette over top and let stand for 10 minutes to let the flavours come together and serve at room temperature
Get your party started with this new-age caprese salad party food with a twist. You will love it, your family will love and your guests will rave about it to their friends on social media. Heck, they might even take photos of your food to tease their friends about what they’ve missed out on eating.
I’m outta here… see ya!
Please share this recipe with your friends if you think they might like it and please leave a review and tell me what you think.
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