Hard-core tomato lovers will eat Caprese salad for breakfast, especially when picking fresh ingredients from their organic vegetable garden.
Fresh Flavours Of Summer In Every Bite
In the summer, we patiently wait for our tomatoes and other herbs to grow to enjoy fresh from the garden to the table meals.
You can’t beat having a garden as it will be the freshest of ingredients you’ll ever find.
Alternatively, if you can seek out local farms where you live, it’s great to support them during the summer.
Since we don’t have much space, we joined a community garden that cost us $20 for the plot.
Caprese Salad 101
What is Caprese salad?
Caprese salad 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, which is pricey.
Any time you have someone else make food for you, the price will skyrocket.
Tomatoes are the easiest vegetable to grow and keep the seeds for next season’s crop.
The best Caprese salad is one that you make at home in your kitchen with garden-fresh ingredients.
Classic Caprese Salad
A typical Caprese salad recipe consists of fresh organic tomatoes cut into thin slices, fresh buffalo mozzarella, salt, pepper, fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil.
If you don’t prefer to use large beefsteak tomatoes you can use cherry tomatoes instead.
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.
If you make an Italian Caprese salad, it’s perfect for a light summer lunch, afternoon or evening snack.
Caprese served as a side dish or meal paired with fish, beef or even thin slices of prosciutto, which we prefer.
Italian Caprese Salad Party Dish With A Twist
Every time we have a backyard gathering in the summer, there will be lots of fresh salads, including a Caprese salad.
It’s party food that your guests will love, however you don’t have to stick to the original recipe.
Ah, now comes our twist version of the Caprese.
Over the years, my wife and I have experimented with different Caprese salad dishes, and we’ve come up with a few favourites, one of which we will share with you today.
Caprese Salad Lettuce Wraps
Since my wife is on a low-carb, keto diet, she enjoys Caprese salad and is perfect party food.
These days, burgers wrapped in lettuce, taco lettuce wraps, and lettuce wraps are famous.
Lettuce is taking over the carb-filled bread, and people love it.
Our version of the Caprese salad comes on a large platter. On the side, we add a fork and spoon so each guest can remove a section to put on their plate.
Serving Caprese salad as an appetizer is perfect to portion with ham, Italian prosciutto or any other flavourful thin sliced meat.
Make Caprese Fresh And Organic
Serving fresh organic vegetables and fresh buffalo mozzarella is the key to a perfect Caprese salad.
We add 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.
How To Serve Caprese Salad
We’ve served this dish twice now, and our guests rave about it. They love the creamy brie paired with the vegetables and a splash of lemon and extra virgin olive oil.
Typically, we 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 the fresh buffalo mozzarella and thin-sliced vegetables that pair nicely with tomato and basil flavours.
We make Caprese salad in advance and serve it at room temperature. By doing so, it gives the flavours time to meld together.
The salt and lemon will draw out all the exquisite 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)
- 1/2 wheel of triple brie (enough for 1-2 slices on each tomato)
- 1 seedless cucumber
- 2 cups of fresh organic baby lettuce greens
- 1/4 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 1/2 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 1/2 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 it, and your guests will rave about it to their friends on social media.
They might even take photos of your food to tease their friends about what they’ve missed out on eating.
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