Il Riccio is a spectacular Michelin star ristorante on the isle of Capri and it comes into its own as soon as you're served the starter of Caprese salad: a massive ball of buffalo mozzarella paired with a just-as-big tomato, drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegarette and plenty of basil leaves to accompany each bite.
We try to recreate the salad at every opportunity, getting fresh mozzarella from local markets that have brought it in from Italy that very morning, and relive the incredible meals we've shared with friends at Il Riccio.
What we're aiming for:
Caprese salad for two as a large starter or main dish. Served with fresh baguette for mopping up juices.
2 large salad tomatoes - fresh, crisp, tasty
2 large balls of buffalo mozzarella
Handful of fresh basil
Good quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black peppercorns
The Algorithm: - Slice the mozzarellas into about 8-10 slices each - Prep the tomatoes by carefully slicing into each tomato vertically but not all the way through - aim for 8-10 slices. - Set the tomato on each serving plate and insert the slices of mozzarella snugly into each space of the sliced tomato. - Place a leaf of basil in the space alongside the mozzarella and sprinkle any spare basil leaves on the plate. Extra basil is always appreciated! Now drizzle a generous amount of the olive oil over the whole thing, a small pour (or spritz) of balsamic vinaigrette and crush some sea salt and black pepper on top.
Some serving tips: Our favourite way to serve this dish is as a starter to our version of a classic Italian meal: Prepare a hearty meat ragu over a period of 5-8 hours and serve a starter of caprese salad, followed by a small serving of fresh pappardelle pasta in the tomato ragu sauce. Complete the meal by serving the succulent meat from the ragu with a chosen green vegetable such as seared asparagus or courgettes.
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