That’s Caprese (cah-PREHY-zay) !

It’s so nice to be back at the homestead for summer holidays. While home is nice, fantastic, and where the heart is, it’s also where the food happens to be, too. As I’ve probably mentioned, my mom is an out-of-this world chef that always impresses with her creative meals. Like today’s lunch for instance: a bonafide Italiano insalata caprese- the freshest mix of tomato, mozzarella, and basil to take your taste buds to the grandest villa right on the Mediterranean.

I feel like the Italians really have it going on with their foodstuffs. First off, eating fresh mozzarella is basically taking a bite out of a freaking cloud. (This is the moment where I thank 21st century technology for lactose enzyme pills). Mozzarella also full of protein (7 grams per ounce!) and a great meat replacer if you’re looking to try something new for your afternoon meal and energy booster.

Using fresh basil on this bread-free-faux-sandwich-from-Italian-heaven really makes the dish. While I’m lucky enough to have a lifetime supply of fresh garden herbs at my disposal (thanks mom!) you’re local grocery store will definitely carry fresh basil leaves in stock. Trust me, the purchase is totally worth it! While you’re at it, throw your extra leaves in a spaghetti dish, a margarita pizza (another lovely mozzarella, tomato, and basil combo), or even in a homemade pesto or sandwich spread.

Even if you can’t get away this summer, you can still pretend, right?! So grab a Campari or Martini, your homemade caprese, and a lawn chair to bask in the sun and make the most of a relaxing Italian afternoon. You deserve it!

Layered Insalata Caprese

Serves: 2

Ingredients

1 medium tomato

I small package of fresh ball mozzarella

4 basil leaves

salt and pepper

Directions

Cut tomato into 6 even slices, about 1/4 an inch thick, and set aside. Cut 4 medium slices off the mozzarella ball and set aside. Use one tomato slice as a base and top with one slice mozzarella, one basil leaf, an additional slice of tomato, one slice mozzarella, one basil leaf, and top with a slice of tomato. Garnish with salt and pepper. Repeat for other caprese and enjoy!

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