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Tomato and Mozzarella Salad from Capri
Insalata Caprese

For 4-6 Servings

Insalata caprese, the salad from Capri, is the perfect summertime dish for lazy cooks in a hurry. Slicing is the hardest part. Bright red tomato slices are interspersed with juicy white mozzarella and whole green basil leaves, drizzled with a little extra virgin, sea salt, and a twist of pepper. The salad was created in the 1950s, a substitute for the sumptuous cooking at the Trattoria da Vincenzo for summertime regulars out for a light lunch. They'd order a ripe, just-picked tomato and a fresh, locally made fior di latte, cow's milk mozzarella—no buffalo on the island of Capri. The salad has evolved on Capri to include a few leaves of rughetta, wild arugula, and a pinch of dried wild oregano, both island products; everywhere else in Italy the salad is limited to tomato, mozzarella, and basil. The dressing is always a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Vinegar would destroy the delicate flavor of fresh mozzarella and is never used. Because the Capri salad is so simple, first-rate ingredients are imperative. Mozzarella should be fresh, white, locally made or imported. Both yellow, rubbery, processed mozzarella wrapped in plastic and hothouse tomatoes are unacceptable. If fresh mozzarella isn't available locally, it can be ordered from Mozzarella Company.


  1. Tear basil (and optional arugula) into bite-pieced pieces. Alternate slice of tomato, mozzarella, and basil leaves on a serving platter. Scatter the arugula and oregano on top (if you choose to use them). Drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Recipes from Red, White & Greens

Rustic Tomato-Rubbed Garlic Bread

Francesca's Zucchini Carpaccio

Tuscan Tuna and Beans white or Green

Tomato and Mozarella Salad from Capri

Recipe from:

Red, White & Greens
by Faith Willinger
September 11, 1996;
ISBN 0-06-018366-7
Reprinted with permission

Foodscape |
Lisa Ekus Presents...

Copyright © 1996—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.