with Balsamic Glaze
As printed in Napa Valley Life Magazine “Cooking with Karen Crouse” Summer 2022
The Insalata Caprese, also known as Caprese Salad, was created in the 1920’as as a tribute to Italy as its colors resemble the Italian flag.
If I could describe what summer tastes like, it would be this salad, and its mosaic of garden-fresh ingredients makes an impressive presentation.
My version includes large and small heirloom tomatoes and Burrata cheese, a Mozzarella infused with cream in the center. A balsamic glaze adds a mild sweetness to this salad’s juicy, fragrant, creamy, and herbaceous flavors. Make a whole batch of the balsamic glaze. I guarantee that it will be one of your favorite condiments.
Number of Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- sharp serrated knife
- serving platter
- shallow salad/pasta bowls
- small saucepan
- airtight glass container
- 1.5 lbs of ripe tomatoes in assorted sizes and varieties at room temperature
- Excellent extra virgin olive oil such as Partanna
- 1 ball of Burrata Cheese (8 oz.)
- A handful of fresh Basil leaves, smaller are best
- Coarse or flaky salt (I like Maldon)
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 cups good quality balsamic vinegar such as Modena
Balsamic Glaze Preparation
Heat the vinegar over medium heat. Bring to a low bowl, then turn it down immediately to a simmer, occasionally stirring until reduced by half and it coats a spoon, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool. The vinegar will thicken as it cools. Transfer to an airtight glass container and store at room temperature.
Remove the core of the tomatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces. Put them in a large bowl and sprinkle a handful of coarse salt.
Toss with olive oil until they are glistening and arrange them on a large platter, leaving room in the center.
Drain the Burrata cheese and cut it in half. Place it in the center of the tomatoes, tugging it lightly as the center oozes. Add more olive oil if you prefer.
Tear (don’t cut) the basil leaves and sprinkle them over the salad. Add cracked pepper to your taste.
I like to present the platter at the table. I toss and serve into individual bowls and drizzle the balsamic glaze over each bowl. This way, everyone enjoys the combined flavorful juices instead of leaving them on the platter. Serve with your favorite rose, Negroni, or Italian Falanghina