ModernHostess: The Other Holy Trinity – Caprese
Sometimes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Perfect example- the delectable trifecta of tomato, cheese, and basil. In Italy, this combination is referred to as tricolore, due to its representation of the three colours (red, white and green) of the Italian flag. Tomatoes and basil are at their peak in hot weather, thus making this combination an ideal summer choice.
There are so many different ways to enjoy the savory taste of tomatoes, basil and cheese. Together, these ingredients work wonderfully in salads, like Caprese salad (recipe below), sandwiches, or on pizza. I know we all love pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and other toppings, but how good is Margherita pizza? Some might find it boring to have just tomato, cheese and basil on a pizza… but it is truly one of my favourite ways to eat it. So simple, yet sooo good.
Just about any cheese would probably taste good with tomato and basil. However, I would definitely recommend choosing a cheese that is mild in flavour, such as mozzarella, so that it doesn’t overpower the freshness of the tomato and basil. In salads, fresh buffalo mozzarella is an excellent option, and so is burrata, which is similar, and is actually made by combining “scraps” of buffalo mozzarella with cream. The result is so delicious and creamy that you may find yourself turning up your nose at buffalo mozzarella when burrata is around!
One of the best ways to enjoy the delightful simplicity of tomato, basil and cheese is in a Caprese salad. Widely believed to have originated on the island of Capri, which is evidently how the salad gets its name, Caprese salad is fantastic for casual weekday dinners as well as for entertaining, and it honestly could not be any easier to make! As it is an uncooked dish, it will taste best if you use the freshest possible tomatoes and the highest quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you are willing to buy (trust me, it makes a massive difference). Enjoy!
- Tomatoes, sliced
- Burrata or fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, to taste
- Fresh basil leaves, to taste
- Olive oil, to taste
- Balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction (either store-bought or reduced yourself – see previous post entitled “Dinner Party Desserts”), to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Arrange tomatoes on serving plate. Top with cheese and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or reduction. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.