This has to be one of my favourite salads to make. It’s “kind of” a Caprese, but not really and it’s “kind of” a salad, but not really. It started with something my mother made, a dish to share at Easter or Christmas when all the family was around. Layers of salami and tomato in a round, drizzled with lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper, a little parsley as well. It was simple, tasty, easy to prepare ahead – the perfect dish for a crowd. Left to sit, the dressing makes the tomatoes juicier, more flavoursome and ever so more-ish.
When Mr & I were in Italy we had the traditional Caprese Salad, mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil, salt & pepper. It’s good, but for me it lacked the punchy flavours I love about my mother’s dish. Once we returned home, it didn’t take long to put the two ideas together. Adding provolone or firm mozzarella to the layered combo meant for extra colour, a little more substance and a delicate flavour to the sharp tomato and salty salami. We made it a few times in our ‘traditional’ layered dish but found that given the size of the salami & the cheese, the tomatoes really do need to be those giant ones you find for only a short time during the summer.
Last night we had salad tomatoes, fresh & ripe, but small. What was simply the easiest way to chop them all up without having weird layers, became a different way to serve the salad, and far easier too!
Bambola’s Caprese Salad
Serves 4-6 as a starter
- 4-6 ripe tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 200g shaved Hungarian salami
- fresh mozzarella balls, torn into chunks OR
- a firm, lightly flavoured mozzarella or provolone (either would look like this) cut in non-uniform, bite sized chunks
- 2T lemon juice
- 4-5T olive oil
- salt & pepper
- fresh basil
- Place a piece of tomato & a piece of cheese in the centre of a piece of salami, pinch it into a bit of a parcel and pop it in a large, flat bottomed serving dish
- The parcels will come unstuck, but it’s more to allow for lots of little mouthfuls to be kept together & to collect the dressing
- Repeat until all ingredients are used up
- Combine lemon, oil, s&p and basil, adjusting to taste
- Flavours should be balanced, allow a little more oil and a little less salt as the tomatoes can be tart and the salami salty
- Drizzle the dressing over all the salad and allow to sit for as long as you can manage
- Serve with fresh, crusty bread to mop up all the leftover juice
We served ours with some fresh flat breads which also worked a treat!
Of course you can leave out the Hungarian salami for your vegetarian friends!