Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese (Buffalo Mozzarella & Tomato Salad) - Vegetarian Antipasto

Insalata Caprese is a classic mozzarella and tomato salad from the Isle of Capri in the Bay of Naples. Indian water buffalo were introduced to the swampy plains near Naples as draft animals around the 6th or 7th century, and today this area is famous for one of Italy’s most delicious cheeses, Mozzarella di Bufala. When insalata Caprese was first seen in Australia it was made with rubbery, tasteless little cow’s milk bocconcini (and occasionally still is), which is a complete waste of time. It relies on soft, slightly oozy buffalo milk mozzarella with its sweet lactic tang, super ripe red tomatoes and aromatic basil leaves – otherwise it simply isn’t worth making. I use the buffalo bocconcini from Vannella Cheese more often than full-size buffalo mozzarella as I prefer their ratio of creaminess to skin, but you could certainly use large balls of mozzarella instead – as long as they’re made from buffalo milk.

Serves 4 as part of an antipasti misti

Ingredients
  • 180g buffalo bocconcini, quartered
  • 100g grape tomatoes, halved
  • 12 or more small basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Method
  1. Scatter mozzarella over the base of a platter.
  2. Top with tomato then basil.
  3. Drizzle generously with oil, sprinkle with salt and a little black pepper.
  4. Serve.

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