One of my fondest memories of travelling abroad as a little girl was this fantastic dish I had one night in a restaurant with my parents in Mexico. It was a salad made only of tomatoes and cheese, but the tomatoes were packed with flavor, and the mildness of the cheese paired with the stunning tomatoes took the whole dish to a higher level. This salad was probably one of the first things I ever ate that made me really interested in what exactly I was eating. I immediately asked my mom for the name of the dish, and she told me it was a Caprese salad.
It wasn’t until just now that I wonder what we were doing at an Italian restaurant in Mexico, because Caprese is an Italian dish. Caprese is a light, flavorful, and easy summer dish to make, and it’s clear to see why Tonio would choose to make it. The ingredients are simple, but the whole dish is instantly elevated when you use the best of the best ingredients you can find combined with an effervescent dressing that lightens the meaty combination of thick slices of cheese and tomato. Incidentally, that is exactly the kind of dressing Tonio writes a recipe for in chapter 304, so I decided to give his recipe measurements, so people at home could try it out.
Ingredients (for 1 plate)
- 5 slices or 1 ripe tomato (I used an heirloom tomato, but a hothouse will work as well)
- 4 slices or about 1/2 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
- Basil leaves (garnish)
- Salt and Pepper
Dressing (for 2 plates. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled and will keep well in fridge.)
- A healthy shake of dried basil flakes
- A quarter sheet of nori, crumbled into flakes
- 1 anchovy
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1.5 tbs white wine vinegar
- squeeze of lemon juice
- Triangular pieces of toast
- Lettuce for garnish
- Basil for garnish
Assemble the Ingredients!
First, chop the anchovy finely.
Then put all the salad dressing ingredients in a container, seal the top tightly, and then shake shake shake until everything is well combined.
Next, slice your tomato and cheese.
Next, arrange the slices on the plate. Start with tomato, then cheese, then tomato, etc. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the cheese and tomato. Tuck two little basil leaves between the back tomato and cheese, and place a garnish of basil alongside the salad. Toast the bread quickly, and arrange the slices against a piece of lettuce. Then, carefully dress the Caprese.
And that’s it! The dish is complete. Couldn’t be easier, and you can obtain the same Caprese that Okuyasu ate. You should give it a try, it’ll really take the weight off your shoulders with how easy and delicious it is. Hehe. I really loved the brightness the lemon juice lends to the overall dressing, so don’t skip it!
Thanks so much for reading! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a response below. Also, I am looking for suggestions on what to make next, so please let me know what you want to see. I hope you can try this recipe out, and please enjoy! 🙂