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!
Essentially so simple, but when done properly Insalata Caprese is one of the most amazing summer salads. This salad only contains a handful of ingredients, so it’s very important to use fresh, top quality ingredients. This salad will make you close your eyes and take you roaming the cozy city streets of Italy. Ok, so maybe it won’t! But you will taste some of the best and most delicious antipasto…