Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad (Insalata Caprese)
Insalata caprese, the iconic Italian salad of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil doesn’t require much of a recipe, but attention to a few details can made the dish truly transcendent.
Why This Recipe Works
We knew that using top-quality ingredients was key to our insalata caprese—the ripest summer tomatoes, the freshest mozzarella cheese, the most fragrant basil, and first-rate extra-virgin olive oil. While a few insalata caprese recipes we encountered called for splashing the salad with vinegar or sprinkling it with minced onion, we liked it without either because the flavors were so clean and pure. To assemble the salad, we sliced both the tomatoes and the cheese into rounds and shingled them on a platter. We found that the basil was best roughly chopped and sprinkled over the top because whole leaves layered into the mix were chewy and unwieldy to eat.