Caprese Stack

I know, I know, when you Google “caprese salad” a thousand recipes come up. I haven’t checked all of them, but I am certain most offer variations on combining fresh mozzarella (buffalo, if you please), sliced tomatoes, basil leaves and olive oil. Mine does, too … except I added a couple of things to kick it up a tiny notch … plus, I wanted to remind you that we are in tomato season, so use these local beauties when they are at their peak of taste and freshness.

And tomatoes are so good for you! They contain lycopene – one of the most potent natural antioxidants – plus vitamins C and A. A luscious gem from the fruit family, tomatoes are good for internal organs (especially the heart), have properties that protect against UV sun rays and, for the guys, support good prostate health.

Okay – and one more interesting and little known fact – tomatoes originated in the region of Mexico and were brought back to Italy by explorers! Isn’t that amazing? I wonder what the Italians used before tomatoes were introduced and became such an integral part of their cuisine? I’ll do some research and get back to you on that … or if you are a food historian, please share with me what you know!

I’m not going to list the ingredients here – you know what they are – just the way to compose the dish. But … watch for those “kick up” things I added to the compilation.

Caprese StackCaprese Stack

Use individual serving plates and stack ingredients in the following order:

Dribble a small round of basil-infused olive oil on the plate
1 slice of mozzarella
1 slice of tomato
2-3 fresh basil leaves
1 slice of mozzarella
A drizzle of regular extra virgin olive oil
1 slice of mozzarella
1 slice of tomato
Dash top with garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2-3 fresh basil leaves
1 slice of mozzarella
Drizzle with olive oil
Dash with red wine vinegar
Sprinkle again with sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Garnish with basil flowers (or chopped basil leaves)

The basil-infused olive oil adds a lovely depth of flavor to this dish. And, I read recently about using basil flowers for garnish. They are peppery to the taste and pretty on the plate. Who knew?! And to think I used to snip them off my basil plant and throw them away. Criminal!

Enjoy the bounty of summer. Feast on local fruits and vegetables when you have the chance. Good for your body; good for the environment. And, please try this super-simple but oh-so-delicious caprese salad, too!

Eat well. Be happy.

Author: Plynn Gutman

Plynn Gutman is a certified coach with a refreshing and holistic approach to achieving an Integrated Life. Specialized retreats, workshops and classes are all a part of Plynn’s wide array of resources that she offers along with useful life lessons, tips and advice through her blog. A writer at heart, with several titles available, Plynn's variety of work appeals to everyone.

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