Did Someone Say, Caprese?
Italian cuisine is a comforting favorite with delicious, nostalgic flavors, fresh ingredients and rich history. While there are countless Italian classics that everyone should try at least once, we believe the caprese salad is a timeless, drool-worthy dish that captures the essence of Italy, celebrates Italian tradition like no other and deserves a second look.
Caprese marries a magical, mouthwatering combination of fresh flavors and textures. The OG caprese recipe calls for some of the most popular Italian-grown ingredients: firm and ripe beefsteak tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and Italian extra virgin olive oil.
So where did this satisfying salad with beautiful alternating layers come from? In the 1920s, shortly after World War I, a patriotic mason created caprese as a tribute to his beloved country. The components represent the fresh, simple ingredients grown and produced in Italy and also resemble the colors of the Italian flag. It didn’t become a staple of Capri, Italy, until the 1950s, when it captured the attention of tourists. They enjoyed it so much, they tried to recreate it in their own countries, producing delicious, diverse variations of caprese across the world.
Decades after its debut, caprese salads remain a beloved go-to for restaurateurs serving up new creative takes on caprese, along with a classic for home cooks feeding groups both large and small. What makes it so popular today is that it’s nearly effortless to prepare and can take the spotlight on any platform, from salads and sandwiches to pizza, pasta and more. Check out our recipes on pages 76-78 to experience a taste of Italy in your own kitchen, and try this historic, refreshing salad in new, flavorful formats.