Ahhhh, Caprese Salad or in my house it's simply called "tomato-motz." It's one of my all time favorite salads. The first time I had Caprese Salad was at Hutch's Restaurant on Delaware Avenue and that was over 20 years ago! I still remember the first time I ate there and what I ordered….Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella for an appetizer and Jambalaya Pasta for my entree. Talk about a lasting food impression right? Actually those items are still on the menu at Hutch's today...hey that's ok, why change a good thing when you have it! 20 years ago Hutch's Caprese Salad did it for me and I've been making it ever since.
There are so many variations on making Caprese Salad but the ultimate is making it the classic way; the way they make it in Capri, Italy, where the recipe originated. Ripened heirloom tomatoes, the freshest creamiest mozzarella, aromatic basil and the highest quality extra virgin olive oil, salt n pepper….that's it! Using the best ingredients will yield magic in your mouth.
Today I decided to change things up a bit because when I went to Dash's avocados were on sale for 2 for $3.00…a great price that I couldn't resist and I love avocados. So my idea of making classic caprese salad went out the window once I saw those avocados. So instead I made Avocado Caprese Salad. This salad was amazingly delicious! And it helped that I used my secret ingredient…don't tell anyone….but it's freshly squeezed lemon juice. It adds a subtle tanginess that enhances the flavors of the salad. Balsamic vinegar is a nice addition but sometimes it's too harsh on Caprese salad, so lemon is the perfect balance in my opinion.
My family devoured this dish as they always do. I always serve a crusty artisan italian bread on the side with this salad. The boys like to make sandwiches with it and Dave loves to soak up the extra olive oil and lemon juice with it. This salad is so easy to make, fresh tasting and makes you feel like you are eating at a quaint cafe in Italy. Salute to Avocado Caprese Salad and for Hutch's introducing me to it 20 years ago!
|Fresh aromatic basil|
|Fresh creamy mozzarella, ripened tomatoes, healthy avocado, tangy lemon and fresh garlic…magic!|
|My secret ingredient - lemon! |
Thanks for the tip Cheryl and Al C.!
|Take a bite and you'll feel like you are in Italy!|
Preparation time 10 minutes
- 4 red vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 1 acocado, sliced
- 10 fresh basil leaves, shredded
- 2 tb good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tb finly minced red onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 lemon juice
- salt n freshly ground pepper
Generously salt n pepper sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and avocado. Arrange them on a platter by alternating tomato, mozzarella and avocado. Sprinkle red onion, minced garlic and basil over the top. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil and then squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the top. Serve with crusty italian bread to soak up the juices.
Nate: "Oh my gosh this is so good." The only reason he liked it was because I gave him a plate of the classic style. He wouldn't eat the rest because I put minced onions over the top. Geeze!
Tyler: "This is super yummy." He proceeded to take two large pieces of bread and place the tomato-moz on top. He was in Heaven!
Zachary: This is Zachary's favorite salad. He goes nuts when I make Caprese salad. I can barely cut the ingredients before he is sticking his little paws and grabbing piece of mozzarella. I love it!
Dave: "Love it, love the avocados in this dish." He loves avocados and was stealing everyone's from their plates. He also loved soaking the juices with the italian bread.
Andrea: This could be a meal in itself for me. The avocado added a nice compliment to this dish. I love making caprese salad because it's always a hit with everyone. Whether it's just the five of us or 20 of us this is a great salad to make. Quick, easy, fresh, delectable!