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Nothing is as simply wonderful as a fresh Caprese salad. Perfectly ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, sweet basil, and rich olive oil are a combination only the Italians could bring us. I recently had one of my favorite versions of this salad at Piccolo Sogno, a place that serves a Caprese in the perfect al fresco setting. It got me thinking about how you could switch up the simple concept of the Caprese for your next al fresco meal at home. Changing up the vegetables and throwing them on the grill give this salad a bit more complexity with not a lot of work. Plus, it can be arranged into a beautiful platter your diners will want to dig into.
3 red bell peppers, cut in thick slices, about 2 1/2 inch wide
4 whole yellow squashes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella (about 2 large balls), sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat.
Place the cut vegetables in a dish and toss to coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill vegetables on both sides until tender and begin to char (about 10 minutes). Note: Depending on thickness, some vegetables might be done before others. Remove when done.
Allow vegetables to cool in the fridge slightly. Arrange vegetables on large platter, tuck in mozzarella to the vegetables and sprinkle with the basil. Drizzle olive oil, vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.