Traditionally, Caprese Salad - literally, Salad of Capri - is an Italian style salad made with tomatoes, mozarella cheese and basil, and traditionally seasoned with olive oil and oregano, sometimes drizzled with balsamic vinegar. There are lots of variations, many of them here on Instructables.
But this one takes the recipe a little southwest and substitutes cilantro (also known as coriander) for the basil to give this Italian favorite a unique kick. You have to be a cilantro fan to like this one, and not everyone is. There are typically two schools of opinion on cilantro : folks love it and thinks it's refreshing and a little lemony, or they hate it and think it tastes like soap. If you're with that latter crowd, you can probably stop reading now, or just substitute the basil back in and stay with the traditional version.
If you like cilantro though, you'll probably enjoy this bright tasting dish.
Step 1: Ingredients
It's a pretty straightforward dish:
- Mozarella - I use the whole milk variety because it's wonderful
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Step 2: Prepare Tomatoes, Mozarella & Cilantro
You can do slices of tomatoes and cheese, but I like to cube them for bite sized goodness.
Chop a good handful of cilantro .
Step 3: Add Oil & Mix
Put the tomatoes, cheese and cilantro into a bowl and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Then mix gently, but well.
Step 4: Add Vinegar & Mix
Drizzle in balsamic vinegar - I love balsamic vinegar and use about a tablespoon and a half. You can also add a little salt and pepper at this point, if you're so inclined.
Step 5: Add More Cheese! (Optional)
The white balance was off on my first go round, so I added more cheese - because who doesn't love more cheese?!
Step 6: Cover & Refrigerate
This dish can be eaten as soon as prepared but I like it chilled for at least 30 minutes. An hour is even better.
Step 7: Serve & Enjoy!
Caprese salad is traditionally an antipasto, or starter dish, but we've already broken with tradition here by using cilantro instead of basil, so plate up as a side dish with almost any meal. It's especially nice as an accompaniment to a southwestern style dish with corn and chicken.