[RECIPE] Summer’s Bounty: Nectarine, Basil and Fried Mozzarella Caprese Salad
There are a few widely accepted harbingers of summer–the whimsical jingle of an ice cream’s truck tune, the full blooms of flowers signaling the reawakening of nature and of course the abundance of jewel-toned produce. Here on the east coast, this past winter was a rough one–brutal cold and several feet of snow made even the most devout lovers of cold weather long for the sunshine (and food) of summer.
So here we are–summer’s in full swing and the produce is at its height in terms of availability and taste. Why not celebrate the season with a twist on the classic Caprese salad?
In case you’re not familiar, a traditional Caprese salad is a simple dish of sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar; its colors are made to resemble the Italian flag.
This salad still has the same elements–fruit, cheese and basil–but with a few variations. (Can you say fried mozzarella?) The salad gets its lovely acidic notes from an aged balsamic vinegar sent from Emilia Delizia–an Italy-based culinary food tour company. The balsamic does a fine job of pulling this salad together and providing exactly the right amount of sweet and savory.
As for the twist on this traditional dish, it does indeed call for lightly frying the mozzarella. Sweet, juicy nectarines and fried cheese? Yes, please!
What foods do you enjoy in the summertime? What fruits and vegetables are you currently obsessing over?
**While a sample of the balsamic vinegar was generously provided by Emilia Delizia, all opinions are my own.**