Caprese Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella and Vine Ripened Tomatoes
The first item today is a tomato Caprese. Basically, what that includes are tomatoes. As you see, we have here well ripened tomatoes. We’re going to use some Buffalo mozzarella cheese.
Buffalo Mozzarella cheese is basically the milk from buffalos obviously and it goes to the same process as they make mozzarella cheese which is the other version, which is the cow.
The cheese itself doesn’t have a lot of flavor to it. It’s pretty much what we’re going to add to it and that’s going to give it the flavor that you’re going to truly experience and enjoy. Buffalo Mozzarella cheese is good with a little salt, extra virgin olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, a little bit basil and it's just wonderful. It's very simple, easy to make at home. If you’re inviting guest over or you’re having a party, it's a wonderful salad to plan out and as you will experience there or see for yourself how simple it is.
On the stove, I have some water going, it's the hot water and the reason why I do that is to get the knife a little bit warm because the cheese obviously has fat on it. So, it makes it a lot easier to cut your cheese. I’m going to put the knife in here and we’re going to put this aside from that and in the meantime we’ll get the cheese out. It’s real simple and then what I do, I basically take the cheese and the milk itself and I let it sit overnight in a cheese cloth so all the water remove from it and leave the rest of the solids behind and that’s what makes your Buffalo Mozzarella cheese.
Now, we’re just going to make maybe we do about seven slices of this wonderful cheese we got here. Tomatoes are wonderful especially in the summer time. You know, they are at their peak. They’re ripened well. The flavor is good. They are nice and sweet and you just like you know like eating that apple almost. They’re just wonderful.
There are so many different varieties you can play around with. You have the vine ripen, you have the heirloom tomatoes. You have the yellow tomatoes. There are just so many kinds out there. Roman tomatoes are actually wonderful for this particular salad also.
Alright, now that we’ve got all the cheese that we’re looking for, we’re just going to put them to the side, make some room. Make some space and then boil and we’re going to cut through the tomatoes. Now, we’re going to do the same on the slices as we did cheese slices. We’re going to do about seven slices. This is going to be one of the quickest salad you’ll ever see but the most flavorful. It is so wonderful. Okay now, perfect! So you got one tomato. I’m going to line up and then I’m going to take a little bit of this is basil mixed with some fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, some salt, even a fresh Parmesan cheese and we put it into a food processor and puree it nicely and I’ve got some pine nuts also added to it.
Now, a lot of time when you’re making Caprese salad, basically, there’s basil leaf, some tomato, some extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. Today, what I’m going to do a little bit differently is, take the pesto. I’ve already made a pesto which I explained the ingredients and take some of your balsamic vinegar, mix with it and I’m going to use that as your base sauce, just on the bottom of the plate. And we’ll also put a little bit of this over the tomatoes. Now, align the tomatoes up with the cheese and we’ll just go right around the plate. If you have friends over, you can make this. Make it like a sandwich, like a tomato sandwich on this almost, pass them around. It has a great flavor, great color contrast.
Now, what is also really good with the tomatoes and cheeses is good bread. So, I’m going to do Italian soft bread. It's called Focaccia. Focaccia bread is really good and very flavorful. Most of your fast food restaurant and you’ll notice that they are using some form of Italian bread. It’s a big thing when you make a lot of sandwiches so we’re going to take a little bit of that olive oil, put a bit in on the pan and we’re going to use this to toast some of the slices of bread that we’ve already completed earlier.
We’ll take about two to three slices, dip them in one side and it is the appropriate culinary terminology to simply brush on each side and we’re just going to toast them off nicely in the pan. While those are toasting off, we’re going to cut some lettuce and use that as a little bit of greens that we’re going to complete with the salad. So we’ll let that get toasted and we’ll leave this to the side for a minute.
Now, we’re going to take some spring mix. I think too crazy, this toasted up nicely and we’re going to sprinkle a little bit of Kosher salt, sea salt. Kosher salt is great right over the tomatoes and right over the cheese. Then we’re going to take a little bit of the extra virgin olive oil and then we’re just going to drizzle it right over the plates, slowly over it.
Now, Parmesan cheese on the other hand is an aged cheese that is made from cow’s milk and the process that this particular cheese goes through is just incredible to see how they do it. Some of this cheese can age in for years and then the longer the age and the tougher they get and just sweeter they are. They’re just wonderful product.
Now we have our salad almost completed, a piece of toast on there. We can put a little bit of the balsamic vinegar all on the plate so you can dip it right in and not too much. It's just like that and that is our Caprese salad.