CHEF and blogger Paul James writes for our paper.
Caprese is a simple Italian salad, made of mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil.
You may also see the word ‘Caprese’ be also served as a caprese pizza, pasta, or even a sandwich.
The salad is named after the island of Capri, where it is believed to have originated.
Capri is a stunning island in the Bay of Naples.
In the 1920s, right after the close of the First World War, a particularly patriotic stone worker wanted to create a dish that was a tribute to his beloved country.
He did this by creating the caprese salad – the red, green, and white dish perfectly represented Italy.
There was a very positive response after its creation, but the dish really gained popularity in the 1950s.
The salad quickly became a staple of Capri food that tourists from all over the world loved.
The caprese salad is a classic Italian dish that has gained popularity all over the world.
Variations of Caprese salad may include Italian dressing or pesto in place of olive oil, or balsamic vinegar in addition to it.
Olives may appear, along with rocket or romaine lettuce.
Oregano or black pepper is sometimes added.
Buffalo mozzarella can be substituted for mozzarella to intensify flavor.
It can also have pasta or rice mixed in with it, to make it a grain salad.
Their is something so charming and appealing about Italy, that one day I must go and visit.
Visit recipesfrommytravels.com for more of Paul’s recipes and his blog.
Chicken Caprese Salad
220g chicken breasts
1tsp of minced garlic
40g basil leaves
2tbsp wine vinegar
30ml of extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
220g chicken breasts
220g shredded lettuce
220g fresh small mozzarella balls, drained
350g cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh oregano to garnish.
1. The vinaigrette – Place garlic, basil, and vinegar in a blender. With the motor running, slowing drizzle in 30ml of Olive oil until fully-blended.
2. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. The chicken – Brush 1tbsp of oil over each chicken breast and season with salt and pepper.
4. Place a frying pan or griddle pan over medium-high heat and brush with remaining tablespoon oil. Sear each breast 2 minutes on each side.
5. Lower heat to medium, cover, and continue to cook until chicken has cooked through.
6. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and leave it to rest for about 5 minutes, then slice chicken into thin, long strips or both as I’ve done.
7. Add lettuce into a bowl and top with mozzarella balls, halved cherry tomatoes, and chicken strips.
8. Drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with fresh oregano.