Simple, classic and timeless. There is a reason why this salad has stood the test of time. Best made in the late summer with homegrown tomatoes and basil or purchased from a local farmer’s market. Try heirloom or heritage varieties of tomatoes that offer flavour, great texture and a variety of colour.

It’s also possible to make this Italian classic vegan as I discovered when I was part owner of an award-winning vegan restaurant in Northern California for a few years. Miso cured tofu with heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil was always on the menu for the summer months. Alternatively, shop bought vegan mozzarella can be used.

INSALATA CAPRESE

For the salad:
Serves as many as you like
Large, ripe vine slicing tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella
Large fresh basil leaves
Good quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

For a vegan version, use miso cured tofu:
200g block firm tofu
Sweet white miso

Method:

Slice the tomatoes using a serrated knife into thick slabs about ½ cm (¼ inch). Repeat with the mozzarella.

Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter.

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

For the vegan version:

Remove the tofu from the packaging and wrap in a tea towel. Set a weight on top to release excess moisture and leave for 10 minutes.

Spread a layer of miso about the size of the piece of tofu onto a plate. Place the tofu on top of the miso and frost the tofu like a cake with it. Make sure the whole block is completely covered with miso and there’s no tofu peeking out.

Cover with a tea towel and leave out in a warm place for 2-3 days. Scrape the miso off the tofu and discard. Use this instead of the mozzarella for a fantastic vegan caprese salad.

 

Have you made this dish? I love seeing my delicious recipes come to life, so share a picture with me on Instagram by tagging @naturalcookeryschool and I’ll re-share your post!

Try more of my Italian recipes, like my easy Wild Garlic Pesto or for a treat, my Aubergine Pizza with Basil Ricotta.

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