Caprese Salad RecipeJanuary 7, 2022
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One of my favorite dishes at the local Italian restaurant is a simple Caprese Salad. Luckily for me, it’s a dish that’s super easy to recreate at home. Not only is it full of flavor, but it’s also a dish that comes together in just a few minutes. Made with vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a few more ingredients, this salad is perfect for both special occasions and as an everyday appetizer.
Preparing this recipe couldn’t get any easier. Start by gathering the following ingredients:
- Vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Fresh basil
- 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt & pepper, to taste
I personally find that it makes a beautiful presentation to create an alternating arrangement of cheese, tomato & basil in a pinwheel pattern.
Finally, a generous drizzle of 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and balsamic vinegar is the perfect finishing touch. Also, sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. EVOO is delicious, lending a rich flavor to this dish and also beneficial thanks to the high levels of polyphenols, antioxidants and vitamins.
When it comes to getting creative in the kitchen, knowing the proper uses for different ingredients is key. For example, while delicate oils are best for salad dressings or as a topping, robust oils pair nicely with hearty dishes, including steak & chicken. 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil is very versatile because it can work well both in a simple salad vinaigrette or in baking/cooking recipes thanks to a high smoke point of 400°F.
Have you heard of Flavor Your Life? It’s a campaign that is designed to educate North American consumers all about authentic extra virgin olive oils from Europe. Do you know what makes olive oil earn the description of extra virgin? Well, EVOO is made by pressing olives without the use of heat or chemicals. In fact, these olive oils are put through a series of rigorous tests to ensure a high-quality final product:
- Olive oils are tested for peroxide values (values over 20 milliequivalents of oxygen/kilo indicate increased oxidation.) Lower values indicate fresher oils.
- Acidity of the oil must be below 0.8% (essentially non-acidic.) This is related to the percentage of oleic acid (fatty acid.) Higher levels indicate rancidity.
- A panel of experts taste the oil to test for fruitiness, bitterness, and spiciness. If the oil doesn’t have the correct balance of elements, it won’t receive the Extra Virgin rating.
One brand in particular that proudly upholds the high standards of 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Le Stagioni d’ Italia brings to market many foods through their top-of-the-line production facilities in Northern Italy. In fact, their 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is cold-pressed from the first extraction of intact olives. Featuring a robust flavor of artichoke and almond, along with a fruity aroma, this olive oil is an easy way to elevate your meals. Look for Le Stagioni d’Italia 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil at a retailer near you.
To learn more about 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe and for more olive oil recipes, check out the Flavor Your Life page here. What’s your favorite recipe that features olive oil?