One of the most popular posts on this site is for Caprese Salad. I did a feature last summer about composing this classic salad in various ways. Because of the recipe’s simplicity, the key to a perfect caprese salad is selecting top notch ingredients. Unfortunately, it’s February and quality tomatoes and fresh basil aren’t available to most of us. So why not improvise and create a winter version?
Roasting winter tomatoes enhances their flavour, making them suitable for this salad. They don’t look as pretty as fresh slices but their sweetness will make you forget about their appearance. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar gives the salad a bit of body and an extra boost of flavour. I use oregano instead of basil because it has a heartier taste that stands up nicely to the roasted tomatoes.
Like my summer caprese post, this is less of a recipe than a guideline. If you use the roasted tomato recipe I posted last year, it will yield 16 tomato halves. Roasting the tomatoes takes some time but once the prep work is done, they go into the oven until they’re done. I find that winter tomatoes take a bit longer to roast than summer ones so add an extra 30 minutes or so to the roasting time if nessecary.
- Roasted tomatoes – sprinkled with oregano instead of thyme
- Fresh mozzarella, cut into slices about 1/2″ thick. The number of slices should be equal to the number of tomato halves used.
- Finely chopped fresh oregano
- Good quality olive oil, to drizzle over salad
- Decent quality balsamic vinegar, to drizzle over salad
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper
- Arrange slices of mozzarella and roasted tomatoes on a platter, alternating and overlapping them. Drizzle with a spoonful of olive oil and another of balsamic vinegar.
- Sprinkle salad with chopped oregano, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Bon Appétit and Enjoy!