There are few basic flavors out there that go together better than those in a Caprese Salad. Beautiful vine ripe tomatoes, creamy buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil pesto–summer perfection!
Many moons ago when we were living in Europe, we had the grand fortune to visit Prague. Called the City of a Thousand Spires, it was one city in Europe that was left relatively untouched (architecture-wise, anyway) during World War II. This stunningly beautiful city has church spires everywhere you look, and history, culture and FOOD to make anyone jealous.
Our first night in town, we were recommended a little restaurant tucked away in one of the less-touristy neighborhoods. I admit that at this point, I wasn’t as adventurous or experienced with various foods, so everything was a new experience for me. Strangely enough, I also had recently figured out that I actually liked fresh tomatoes (yes, I am slow on the uptake sometimes). So when I saw a “Caprese Napoleon” listed on the salad menu, I decided to dive in and see what their version of this classic looked like.
Whoa. A tower of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar was set down in front of me, and I was hooked. The presentation alone had me “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” before my first bite. And oh what a bite it was. Tangy, sweet, creamy, and oh-so-delicious–I wanted 10 more of them! Not wanting to look like the greedy and overeager American, I restrained myself.
However, that picture in my mind’s eye of that gorgeous tower of otherwise simple ingredients stuck. When I think back to that trip, I remember the amazing views, the look and feel of the Charles Bridge at dusk, the history around every corner–and this dish. Weird? Yes. But memorable for a reason.
Flash forward (ahem, many, well a few, or I don’t know how many…) some years, and I suddenly wanted to be wowed again by the seasonal ingredients of the Summer. With this craving came the use of some beautiful homemade pesto from a neighbor, perfectly ripe tomatoes from my in-laws’ garden, and some luscious olive oil. Toss in some creamy buffalo mozzarella, and lunch was served. And served. And maybe served again the next day. Don’t judge.
I’m certain that you’d be enamored, too, if this Caprese Salad Napoleon showed up on your plate!
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