We eat with our senses its true! A picture forced me to try out this new dish!!
Something I was totally unaware of?
Well that is what happened was that I was at a dilemma as to what is it that I wanted to make with the alphabet ‘I’!
I needed an International dish which I wanted to Indianise (if that is a word)! So armed with my cookbooks, paper scraps and pens and papers started my hunt for the ideal recipe. Then I saw this picture it fitted the bill to a T! Only I was hesitant and kept postponing making it!
But then like I said the picture was so beautiful that I kept returning to the how to make it.
What I am talking about is a salad and it’s called Insalata Caprese.
It was simple enough but then there was a reference to balsamic reduction which was totally new to me. The only reduction I have done were 25 years ago in my Chemistry lab… but this goes to show learning never ends does it not.
For balsamic reduction you need balsamic vinegar so I went to the local specialty shop. When I read the price of 500 ml is Rs.190/- and the salesperson could give me no reviews about how the vinegar tastes or if anyone has complained about it. I found it hard to part with my money. Call me miserly if you wish but then buying a bottle at such a price and everyone complaining about it and then me pouring me it down the drain is not my idea of money well spent. So substitute…
According to Wikipedia,” Insalata Caprese (salad in the style of Capri) is a simple salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil. In Italy, unlike most salads, it is usually served as an antipasto (starter), not contorno (side dish).”
In the original recipe uses mozzarella cheese but I used paneer which I had marinated in Thecha (recipe soon) and since the kids wanted lettuce we used that too.
So here is Insalata Caprese adapted from here.
- 4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- ¼ kg paneer, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 tsp of thecha
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
- Lettuce leaves torn
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Balsamic reduction (as needed)
- Wash and dry the lettuce & the basil on a clean dish towel.
- Marinate the paneer in the thecha .
- after about an hour arrange the salad. We had a bed of lettuce on which the paneer and the tomatoes were arranged alternated and overlap the tomato slices, paneer slices.
- Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Top with the balsamic reduction.
- Serve immediately.
Some variations include adding chopped garlic, parsley, and Italian dressing, etc.
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