As much as I like them, I can only eat so many classic Caprese salads before they start coming out of my nose. I desperately needed one with a little twist. I’ve added a few ingredients and topped it with a gorgeous garlic and basil dressing and named it Insalata Surprise. Act surprised, will you!
This turned out to be the best non-caprese I’ve ever had! Not only does it look drop-dead gorgeous, but it’s super simple and the flavors are mind-blowing. The soft creamy mozzarella against the sweet roasted pepper and the plum, juicy tomatoes combined with the gentle garlic basil dressing create magic!
2 Roma tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 ball of mozzarella
handful black olives
1 small garlic clove
1/3 small shallot
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp olive oil
10 basil laves
* I’ve made a salad for two.
Start by grilling a red bell pepper until the skin is black. Put it in a (glass) bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave it to be for 5 minutes. Then remove the skin and slice the pepper in thin strips. Let them cool off entirely.
I’m tearing the mozzarella in chunks. Put them on the plate first; it’ll be the foundation of your salad.
As soon as the pepper strips have cooled off, drape them over the mozzarella.
I always use Roma tomatoes for this, one ripe tomato per person. Cut them anyway you like them: slices, wedges, whatever rocks your boat. Just randomly toss them in.
Season the salad with freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt.
Thinly slice a handful of black (or green) olives and add them to the plate as well.
Go for roughly 10 pretty green fresh basil leaves.
Put them in a blender or use your immersion blender, which is the perfect tool for dressings and soups! Add 4 tbsp olive oil, a heaping 1/4 tsp dijon mustard and squeeze in fresh lemon juice.
I’m also adding a small garlic clove, 1/3 medium sized shallot and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Tip: you can also add 1/2 a tsp sugar to balance things out!
Turn it into a pretty green dressing. You’re gonna love the flavor combination of this one, I promise! On the contrary to what you might think, it’s a really subtle flavor.
Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad, garnish with a few basil leaves and serve with a nice chunk of fresh whole-wheat bread. You can have this for lunch, as an appetizer or serve it as a side-dish for pasta entrees. I doubt I’ll be making another classic caprese anytime soon, this was a great salad!