Caprese Salad – Tomato Mozzarella Basil

by Helene Dsouza on March 24, 2014

Caprese Salad makes me happy. It transforms my mood the moment I allow the tomato mozzarella basil and olive oil to gently glide of the fork onto my excited tongue. I can feel the happiness in my cheeks with each bite and to soak up the remaining olive oil with some white crust bread is just the pinnacle of my blissful moment.

My picky husband was mesmerized too the moment he was introduced to it. He describes it as: “Very refreshing and the perfect lunch during summer time”. He also describes the tomato mozzarella and basil as a brilliant food marriage and the olive oil completes the dish. Sounds promising right?

Caprese Salad - Tomato Mozzarella Basil masalaherb.com

But I had forgotten about this salad in recent times. With all the Indian food around me I tend to think more about the east. Also this is such a simple salad to recreate that I didn’t necessarily include it in my posting agenda here. You see I realize at times that what might be ordinary and common to me might be a completely new dish to somebody else in this world.

In India you can get hold of fresh mozzarella and also the partly harder version. Of course to find this cheese you will have to check out bigger stores or some online shops. In North Goa, fresh and harder Mozzarella can be commonly found and you should be getting a choice too as well if you buy during the tourist season. The idea of making Italian mozzarella in Goa commercially was initiated about 10 years ago by Italians in Goa. In recent times I have noticed South Indian companies producing mozzarella as well and the numbers are always increasing. It’s not surprising that mozzarella cheese is so popular.

The soft fresh white mozzarella is turned into a ball and then stored in some kind of brine. Usually the soft mozzarella can be stored for a few days in the fridge and packets have always an expiry date. Just earlier today, while doing my groceries, an Italian explained that the mozzarella balls are still good 3 days after expiry date if it was stored in a very cool fridge. Although of course the fresher the better but sometimes it’s just not easy to get a hand on the freshest mozzarella in Goa. Especially now when the tourist season is at an end.

The harder version is more yellow in color and is commonly used to top pizza and on layered lasagne. This variation is way more common in India, however the harder mozzarella is not used in the Caprese salad instead of the soft mozzarella.

Basil, also known in India as Italian Basil, should be available in all major Indian cities and in Goa in bigger markets and along the coastline. I grow my own basil at home which by the way grows well in tropical and subtropical climate. My friend has been growing basil in Goa for years and I have been following her foot steps. The seeds are planted around september each year. Basil doesn’t survive the monsoon which is the difference to the Indian Basil, better known as Tulsi. I think you should be able to grow basil in a flat if you have enough sunlight coming in. If anybody has had experience growing basil in a flat in India, feel free to share your experience with us in a comment.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Caprese Salad - Tomato Mozzarella Basil
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2
Prep time:
Total time:
 
A light and delicious caprese salad with tomato mozzarella basil and extra virgin oil.
Ingredients
  • 3 medium sized Tomatoes
  • 1 Mozzarella Cheese ball
  • 1 Tablespoon sliced fresh Basil leafs
  • Salt according to your taste
  • Pepper according to your taste
  • dash Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Slice your tomatoes fine.
  2. Cut open the mozzarella cheese bag, discard all the water, shake off some liquid from the cheese ball and cut first into half and then into slices.
  3. Arrange the mozzarella cheese slices and tomato slices in a plate, top with the sliced fresh basil leafs and sprinkle some salt and pepper.
  4. Finnish by adding a dash of olive oil on top.

Caprese Salad - Tomato Mozzarella Basil masalaherb.com

If you want to learn more about olive oil variations and techniques, check out the ebook “Cooking Techniques with olive oil” by Mary Platis and Laura Bashar. I am not an olive oil expert but I am a self proclaimed olive oil freak who could live on this stuff forever. ;)

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I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things! Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa

Fresh and delicious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Reply

John@Kitchen Riffs

Great salad, and I love the presentation. We can get great mozzarella here, too. But it’s too early for tomatoes and basil from my garden. But in a few months, this will be on our table! Really nice — thanks.
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Judit & Corina

So glad to found your beautiful Caprese salad , Helen! This is so funny, we all created something delicious with tomato, basil and mozzarella this weekend. How wonderful for you to be able to experience life in Goa. We have many friends form India from the Pune region and they often tell us about their vacation to the scenic coast of Goa.
J+C
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Ansh

Oh this speaks of summer! I can’t wait to have fresh tomatoes and make this.
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Eva Taylor

This is by far one of my favourite summer salads and if I see it on a menu, I will almost always order it. Except when tomatoes are out of season and they taste like nothing, it is infuriating to see it on a menu out of season. The combinations you mention are exquisite and satisfy the emotional hunger as well as the physical hunger. It’s nice to know you can find this cheese in Goa; my friend John (from the Bartolini Kitchens) made soft mozzarella some time ago, I haven’t tried making it yet but will sometime soon.
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Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

When the ingredients are fresh, I swear there is no better salad than this. It looks beautiful on that plate, Helene.
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Choc Chip Uru

I’m in love with how fresh it looks and such a delicious dish :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

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Tina Muir

I have had something very similar to this, but not with the love put into it that you have. Beautiful presentation, and I am sure it tastes even better! Perfect summer afternoon appetizer. Thanks for sharing :)
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Kitchen Belleicious

so simple but so delicious and so fresh and screams spring
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Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com

Delightfully refreshing combination of flavors – makes me long for summer more! :)
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Roy

I didn’t know you could get fresh mozzarella in Goa? Is it from the Indian buffaloes?

Reply

Helene Dsouza

I don’t know since I couldn’t find a way to contact the dairy I am buying from. But I know an Italian lady who was one of the first to make mozzarella here and she told me that they used the milk from Indian buffalos and also from cows.

Reply

Roy

Sorry! I should have have read your post a little closer. It waw self explanatory.

Reply

Helene Dsouza

oh that’s alright, glad you asked. =)

Reply

Prash @ YummilyYours

Hey Helene!
Beautiful photos. I agree with you. Something so ordinary to us might be totally new to someone else. I am super crazy about tomatoes but I’ve never had Caprese Salad before! So, thanks for sharing this :)
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nandoo
Cher

What a lovely presentation!

Reply

Maria Grazia (Picetto)

Ciao Helene, sono contenta che una ricetta italiana ti ha resa felice e che tu riesca a trovare la mozzarella anche in India! Un grande saluto
M.G.
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Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

I can’t wait for summer and fresh tomatoes. I’ve made mozzarella a couple of time. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t find that it was a lot better than I could buy so I haven’t made it again.

This is the salad that definitely says it’s summer to me.
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