A caprese salad is an Italian classic in the summer. The flavor profile goes with everything, and it is super refreshing! I love the contrast of colors, especially when adding new little gems to it, to make it even more colorful, and delicious looking! Normally the traditional herb to garnish caprese salads with is basil. It is an iconic combination with tomatoes, but sometimes I truly feel like parsley gets put on the back burner. It’s one of my favorite herbs because you can put it on anything, and you don’t ever have to worry about interfering with other strong flavors, which is why I decided to use it in this deluxe summer salad. There are even fancy restaurants, and certain chefs who use parsley to garnish desserts with because it serves a fresh pop of color without interrupting sweet flavors. Theres nothing better than a salad with various different colors, textures, and flavors, paired with something hot and juicy off the grill! I think steak compliments this salad exquisitely, but you can seriously even pair it with something as simple as a plump, juicy, hot dog laying in it’s bun! Anything goes!
If you’re having a party, or you have a huge family, you’ll want to make the caprese salad according to how many people you need to serve. This salad was serving three of us, so I went with using three tomatoes.
- You want to make sure that the tomatoes are really bright, and fully ripened. The ripeness of your tomatoes will really determine the flavor of this dish, and even the texture feel in your mouth while enjoying it.
They say some of the most yummiest foods are the simplest, and this definitely is the definition of that!! It is extremely easy to put together, while still be super impressive for presenting at an event, or a dinner party! I love it so much, and I promise you if you make this even once, you will continue to make it all summer long!
- I started out classically by just chopping up three garden tomatoes.
- Then I chopped up a few thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. Some of us are cheese lovers more than the rest of them, so add as much, or as little as you would like.
- To add a creamy note to the whole mix, and to make it more of a filling kind of salad, I threw in half of an avocado chopped up.. so if you wanted to make this your meal by just adding protein at the end you very well could!
- For a dressing concept, and immense flavor.. I splashed in red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar to give it that tangy, aged bite that tomatoes pair so awesome with! Then for smoothness, and fat.. I pour in some good olive oil. I enjoy using much more olive oil than vinegar because the vinegar is a lot more powerful, and the olive oil to me is an amazing way to finish off any cold salad. In Italian cooking most dishes are finished with olive oil anyway to give it that shine, and eye appeal! If you use a great olive oil.. it just makes all the flavors of the dish come together to mend every single flavor once you go ahead, and take those delectable bites.
These next few steps are the steps that are going to make this caprese summer salad, deluxe edition! Once you have everything chopped up in the bowl, mixed all together with the oil and vinegar, toss in some briny green olives, small diced roasted red peppers (they go extremely well with mozzarella cheese), thinly sliced scallions, and chopped fresh parsley, to tie everything together! I always finish plating with herbs. Whether I have fresh, or dry on hand, it does not matter to me. Finishing, and garnishing with herbs is quite the experience for eating with your eyes, and also to enhance the flavors when you do go in, and experience the taste yourself.
- Of course the final thing we need to do is season everything! A salad isn’t a sensational salad without it’s seasonings!
- Cracked sea salt.
- fresh cracked black pepper.
- Garlic powder.
- A pinch of dried basil, and Italian seasoning, just for that extra punch of herby goodness.
When something has beautiful presentation, AND is colorful on top of that.. you will never fail at hosting. They’re probably two of the most important parts to platting food when having a party, or even just putting together a light snack board for date night. I adore styling food. It is probably one of my favorite things about being a chef.
At times, depending on what event, or party you’re setting up a display for.. I love making small dishes look like they are being put in the middle of a grazing board. A grazing board is just an island, or tables-cape, filled with piles of food to show beauty, and options! Even though I’m not making an exact grazing table here, I like incorporating ideas of that design concept into how I present my food that I serve. You can do this variation with any meal you prepare. I always will stick by the fact that it is true when people say first impressions are everything because when you get your first impression of food that you’re deciding on.. a big part of that is how it is presented to you!
This honestly just looks like a beautiful board of summer eats to me. It looks mouthwatering while still being so light, so that you could have the opportunity to pair it with many other dishes, and pick food along side of this succulent salad.
- This is for sure something that I truly thin you Diamonds will make time, and time again.