Caprese Salad: Thank a Water Buffalo

While visiting Italy a few years ago, we marveled at the flavors created by simple, quality ingredients. Caprese Salad was on our list of classic Italian food to savor; it was a memorable part of our trip.  Traditionally served as a starter, or appetizer, it can also be a refreshing summertime lunch. With only a handful of ingredients, it is vital that each one is carefully selected, preferably at seasonal peak.  April is a little early to find the best tomatoes or basil, but I’ll do my best since it is a special request for my husband’s birthday dinner.

Authentic Caprese Salad is made with buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala), made from the milk of domesticated water buffalo.  Although there are a few water buffalo herds in the U.S. producing dairy and meat, it is easier to find imported buffalo mozzarella in stores like Whole Foods, Costco (seasonally), or specialty shops. When you taste this amazing salad, you’ll want to thank a water buffalo if you can find one 😉 … I still have  The Water Buffalo Song in Silly Songs with Larry by Veggie Tales stuck in my head from when my kids were little.

Of course, fresh cow’s milk mozzarella is a fine substitute for this salad, just be sure it is a quality cheese for best results.

Vine-ripe tomatoes, Bufala Mozzarella, Basil

Caprese Salad

Serves: 4 as an appetizer
3-4          whole  plum tomatoes — sliced 1/4″ thick
16            whole  basil leaves — washed and dried
1              pound  buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala) — sliced 1/4″ thick
extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper
sea salt

Allow cheese to sit on a paper towel-lined plate at room temperature for 30 minutes to absorb extra liquid until ready to slice and serve. This salad should be served cool, but not cold.

On a large platter or plate, arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices so there is an even number of slices of each. Arrange basil as a garnish on top so that there is 1-2 basil leaves for each serving of tomato and cheese, or sprinkle julienned basil over the cheese and tomato. 

Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the tomato, cheese, and basil; season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
SS & GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Friday Food
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania

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10 responses to “Caprese Salad: Thank a Water Buffalo

  1. Gorgeous! What amazing pictures and I know the salad will be fabulous, how could you lose with these awesome ingredients! I am featuring a tartine with the same ingredients on my blog tomorrow! I just had it for lunch – Yummy!

  2. Great post. That has to be the prettiest Caprese salad I’ve seen.

  3. Erika your eldest daughter

    I bet his would be really good in a bacon bowl, I think I would leave out the tomato and go with sundried, maybe?

    • I’m not a big raw tomato fan either, Erika, but it wouldn’t be Caprese without it; it is the perfect combo. Just about anything would be good in a bacon bowl 😉

  4. Thats an excellent starter! I love buffalo mozzarella its richer and more flavourful.

  5. yes, someone who loves the caprese as much as I do…if I only had space for a water buffalo inmy apt. Thanks so much for sharing this tasty recipe on Momtrends’ Friday Food. Have a great weekend!

  6. Caprese = my favorite flavor combination next to peanut butter and chocolate. 😉

    The one thing I’ll miss about summer is my tomato and basil crop, small thought it was. Because I was eating caprese salads and sandwiches a few times a week! Thanks for sharing this and for making me salivate, quite frankly. 🙂

    • Caprese is a fine excuse to plant a garden just for tomatoes and basil! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I appreciate that — it was good to find your blog too! Enjoy what there is left of summer!

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