Caprese salads spell S-U-M-M-E-R. Not literally, of course! Fresh hand-picked basil and tomatoes from the garden, and morsels of mozzarella cheese make this Italian-inspired dish a light and refreshing, yet satisfying summer meal.
My love for mozzarella di bufala all started in Molise years ago, when my husband’s relatives introduced me to REAL mozzarella, not the shredded, over-processed stuff. Despite my poor, distressed stomach and sinus issues (thanks to a mild dairy intolerance) I literally devoured fresh mozzarella di bufala EVERY single day.
Fast forward to the present, and my love for mozzarella is still going strong-even though I rarely eat it. Despite the fact that I have avoided consuming most dairy products for over 10 years, I still cannot help but steal a morsel of creamy mozzarella whenever I prepare this salad for my family.
This recipe is a twist on Insalata di Riso, and of course a traditional caprese salad, since I’ve combined the mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, with arborio rice and creamy avocados-why not add an extra dose of healthy fats to one’s diet, right?
This salad is best served chilled-but not too cold, otherwise the flavours won’t come through. Mind you, I kept piling spoonfuls in my mouth while preparing this-even though the rice was still warm, and is was equally delicious!
Although this salad is delicious as is, the balsamic vinegar reduction is the cherry on top. It adds a sweet, tangy flavour and pairs wonderfully with this salad, heightening the delicate flavours of the fresh ingredients.
If you’re running low on time, or don’t feel confident enough to prepare the balsamic reduction (which really isn’t that difficult at all) you can serve this caprese salad with a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing, or your favourite balsamic-based vinaigrette.
If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!