Thursday, July 7, 2016

Stacked Caprese with Arugula & Roasted Red Peppers

One of the simplest and most perfect summer salads, Insalata Caprese is a playful reference to the colours of the Italian flag: red, white, and green. Thick slices of perfectly ripe tomatoes and soft creamy Buffalo Mozzarella and fragrant fresh basil, this stacked version of the classic Caprese from Caffe di Portico at Yonge at Davenport was also served with a tangy arugula and roasted red pepper salad, keeping with the 'tricolore' of the Italian flag. Any way you slice it — or stack it — the flavours shout summer. Viva Italia!

Stacked Caprese Salad with Arugula & Roasted Red Peppers
Serves 4

2 summer or hot house tomatoes
2 Mozzarella di Bufala or fior di latte mozzarella, sliced
4 cups of arugula
2 roasted sweet red peppers, sliced
4 large fresh basil leaves 

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
Fresh ground black pepper and Maldon salt, to taste

Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl, and adjust the seasonings to taste. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella in 1/4-inch thick slices, then assemble in stacks by placing one slice of mozzarella and single basil leaf sandwiched in between two slices of tomato, then set aside. In a medium bowl toss the arugula and sliced roasted red peppers with some vinaigrette to taste, tossing well to combine. To serve, place a caprese stack and arugula pepper salad on each of 4 dinner plates and garnish with an extra drizzle of olive oil and grind of black pepper.

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