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Old 04-26-2003, 05:02 PM   #1
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Insalada Caprese - review and picture

Well, Coco, as promised I tried your fabulous [b]insalada Caprese[/b].

Being unable to obtain your Canadian Cheese here, I went for the Italian version, using Mozzarella. (This was no simple task: the recipes all called for the water buffalo type of Mozzarella. Now, the original water buffallo cheese maker in the U.S. is about 2 miles from here - his herd of buffalo kept about 60 miles east, in Chino, CA. So I called. They were busy, the rcording said. So I drove there. No name on the building - took two trips to find it. Locked up tight! Went to a local "Italian Deli" - nuthin'! So wound up at the supermarket getting cows milk style Mozzarella,. Sorry about that!

The day dawned bright and sunny - p[erfect day for a garden lunch, right? Hah! Clouds moved in about 11:30 and the temp dropped. Kinda chilly in the garden. Undaunted, I proceeded.

Thinlly sliced Mozzarella, lyered with thinllly sliced, vine ripe tomato, salt, pepper (freshly ground, of course!) and a liberal sprinkling of chopped fresh basil, and a good drizzle of extrera-virgin olive oil. Fresh baked bread, chardonnay.


Well..............O.K., it was good, but rather bland. Didn't excite either my BW or me.

[img][/img]

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Old 04-26-2003, 10:03 PM   #2
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YUM.....my favourite! Yes, if you are expecting intensity of flavour, this might not be it. But I say, it is subtle and beautiful, delicate and a dish that allows you to taste the true flavours in their glorious simplicity. Fruity extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, the sweet mozzarella, and juicy tomatoes. That said, while the authentic Insalata Caprese is simply dressed with olive oil, my husband always throws a good dash of balsamic on his, preferring, as I said, more intense flavour. You and BW might prefer it that way as well.

Since joining this website I am often surprised at how similar, and different we all are, especially our tastebuds. I think that Insalata Caprese is fantastic, and you find it bland. And yet we all have in common our love of food! Vive la difference!
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Old 04-26-2003, 11:19 PM   #3
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Oldcoot, when you said you used cow's milk mozzarella, do you mean regular mozzarella, or unripened mozzarella. That is what I meant by bocconcini, which is unripened.
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Old 04-27-2003, 12:29 AM   #4
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Sadly, the only supermorket Mozzarella I found gave no details. I had hoped to use the water buffalo type, which, I understand, is the true mozzarella. Anyway, I think this was the unripened variety.

I thinkk you misunderstood, Coco - we enjoyed the insalata caprese, it simply was not what we expected. Balsamic - or any other vinegar, -I have always found simply smothers flavors. A few drops of lemon juice might liven up the ensalata, if one wished to do so. I added some fresh oregano (the plant was only a few feet away from the table), as I'd read it was an "approved" addition. It did improve the dish for me.

If you particularly enjoy the individual flavors, as you suggest, then why not eat them separately? I, too, really enjoy the unaffected flavors of foods, as well as in combination. A tomato, picked ripe from the vine, is delicious right there in the garden, with no accompaniment needed at all. Etc.

It is fun, for me at least, to try dishes, such as you have selected, that I might not notice or consider in browing a recipe book. And, sooner or later, Canadian or not, you are bound to suggest someting really good. :)
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Old 04-27-2003, 12:36 AM   #5
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I enjoy the individual flavours, and I enjoy them together. If we only ate things we enjoyed on their own, we would never come up with new and fantastic combinations!

As for your comments on being Canadian, my friend, you just wait until it's my turn for the next Dinner Club menu. It's maple-syrup marinated salmon jerky for everyone, eh?
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Old 04-27-2003, 12:43 PM   #6
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Gotta agree, Coco. My point - in the instance of insalta caprese - is that, since the flavors, each good, seem not to commpliment each other (I'm refering to the cheese/tomato, oil, not the tomato/basil), why bother combining them. They would, I feel, be just as enjoyable separately, as on an anti-paso plate, for example.

The Canadian thing is simply the reult or having been married to one of them for half a century, and teasing her about it all that time. :)
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Old 04-28-2003, 05:46 PM   #7
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If this didn't jump off your plate, it was probably the tom

tomato

Sadly, it's very hard to find good vine-ripened tomatoes, and I just hate the mushy ones. Love the Caprese salad, but if I can't find good tomatoes, I use roasted red bell peppers instead, and always 1st quality EEVO and fresh basil.
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Old 04-28-2003, 07:03 PM   #8
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Rhonda

The best way to get vine ripened tomatoes is, obviously, to raise them yourself. Unless you are another unfortunate like Kitchenelf, who has no place she can raise them, it is something a true tomato lover should try. Tomatoes are among the easiest of vegetables to grow.

Coco, I spoke with the guy who makes the water buffalo mozzarella today. He sounds like a native italian, so I am uinclined to accept his statement that proper insalata caprese requires fresh mozzarella made from water buffalo milk. (Especially since I read that on a web page discussing the insalata.) So I shall trot over to his place and get some rally fresh mozzarella later this week and try again..
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