My Favourite Recipe Challenge: Each week we post a new ingredient, and you will write about it in a new post. Tell us why it is so special.
My contribution is a little late this time, but I couldn’t resist this week’s ingredient, which is tomato. Pomello. Tomate. Tomaat. To-may-to, to-mah-to.
Is there anything a tomato can’t do or add to a dish? In most cases fresh is best, but even when using the canned variety, you can always guarantee tomatoes will added freshness to any cuisine; from the richness of a tomato-infused pasta sauce, to a refreshing burst of soaked-up flavour in a spicy Mee Goreng or Tom Yum soup.
It’s so, so hard to pick just one favourite dish for such a versatile ingredient, but for me, the simplest meals are often the best. And if there are special travel-related memories attached, the votes increase tenfold!
Insalata Caprese (Caprese Salad)
A taste of summer in the glorious colours of the Italian flag. I’ve enjoyed this recipe many a time – prepared in slightly different ways, but always with the same fresh ingredients. Of course, the most amazing ones I’ve eaten were in Italy (nothing beats a fresh, juicy Italian tomato), but I still very distinctly remember my first proper Caprese, which my travelling companion and I enjoyed with a delicious Garlic Prawn and Basil pizza and crisp Sem Sav Blanc on the banks of Circular Quay with the Sydney Harbour Bridge directly in front of us. It was pure bliss.
- Fresh, ripe tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh basil leaves
- Fresh mozzarella, torn or sliced*
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Sea salt
* If you can find/afford it, buffalo mozzarella is the most authentic; if not, a cow’s milk variety is perfectly reasonable. In my example below, I’ve used bocconcini (baby mozzarella), and it is perfectly lovely in my non-expert, non-Italian opinion…
Arrange tomatoes, basil leaves and mozzarella on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: some eagle-eyes may spot a speck of balsamic vinegar on my home-made version. This is based purely on personal taste and in no way an authentic addition to the recipe, which is why I’ve left it off of the ingredient list.
Simple. Beautiful. Delicious. How do you like your Insalata Caprese?
Circular Quay, Sydney
Thanks to my fellow Blogging101 graduate B.TX for setting up this challenge! I look forward to seeing all the different mouth-watering ways everyone interprets the ingredients each week.