People will tell you that Summer time is the best time to have a Caprese Salad. That is not true at all! If you’re a Mozzarella lover , like my family is, you will always find an excuse for making this delicious and kid friendly salad.
For those of you that don’t know, Caprese Salad is made with Mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil, and basil. That is your basic Caprese Salad.
The Caprese Salad comes from Capri, Italy and the Campania Region. Originally made with Mozzarella di Buffala. It is also served as an antipasto and not as a side dish or an accompaniment. Each region of Italy, has their own version of the Caprese Salad and in Puglia, where argula grows wild, it gets added to everything!
Caprese Salad with Arugula
What is Arugula
Simply put, Arugula is a peppery green. In English it is called Rocket. It is high in fiber like most greens and in iron. You can even cook with it, although in American culture it is mostly used in salads. That’s how we’re going to use it today.
- 1lb Fresh Mozzarella - sliced
- 2 Big Tomatoes - sliced
- 1 Bunch fresh Basil
- 1lb Fresh Arugula
- 1tsp Oregano, or 4 sprigs fresh Oregano - chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Slice the Mozzarella about 1/4in. thick. You can also buy pre-sliced fresh Mozzarella.
- Slice the tomatoes 1/4 inch thick
- Wash and dry the Arugula and spread it out on a platter. Reserve some for later.
- Place the Mozzarella and tomatoes (Alternating) on top of the Mozzarella
- Sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt and pepper, arugula, basil, EVOO, and balsamic vinegar.
- You can place the tomatoes and Mozzarella however you'd like. Traditionally they're layered long ways (As pictured above.) You don't have to use balsamic vinegar or the oregano. This is just the version that tastes best with the pepperiness of Arugula.
- Buon Appetitto!
Different Variants of the Caprese Salad
Every region of Italy has their own variant of it. Like I mentioned earlier in Puglia, it has arugula. In Milano it has marinated artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. In Napoli, it has sundried tomatoes chopped along side the fresh tomatoes. In Calabria it has anchovies.
Other Countries have their own version too. For instance in Britain, they’re heavy on the basil (mostly decorative) and they add sliced black olives. In American you see a little bit of basil and heavy on the EVOO. There really isn’t a right or wrong way to make it. Everyone makes it with their own tastes in mind. Either way it’s still delicious!