A quick and easy salad which feels so much like a treat. The beauty is it takes minutes to prepare.
Like the Greek Horiatiki, Caprese is a simple everyday salad with fresh ingredients and olive oil. Originating from the Island of Capri and possibly created as a homage to the Italian flag. The salad can be served, at any time of the day, but as an antipasto, not as a contorno (side dish). Fig Caprese is just that. A fun twist on the traditional dish, delicious with a glass of wine at lunchtime or as an antipasto or aperitif in the evening.
Choose firm, fresh fruit which slices easily. I’m using the early dusky green Kadota figs for this recipe because you can eat the whole thing. Unlike the later purple fruit, the green fig skins are tender and perfectly edible. If you can’t find the green figs, you will need to peel or quarter them so you can scoop out the fruit.
The dressing is a delicate balance of lime juice, olive oil with a pinch of vanilla and a sprig of basil; like all good Italian dishes super simple with the best ingredients. For fun, I added mesclun and a few toasted pine nuts. Fun but not essential😉
I used a mozzarella de buffalo, a little less intense than burrata. It’s better suited to the delicate fig flavour and has the added advantage of slicing easily, resembling the traditional Caprese.
- 1 mini food blender
- 1-2 figs (not too squishy)
- 1 mozzarella de buffalo – thinly sliced
- 1 lime
- olive oil
- pinch pure vanilla powder
- 5 leaves basil – reserve a couple of leaves to garnish
- 1 tbsp pine nuts (lightly toasted)
- small handful mesclun or mixed baby salad leaves
- Add the zest of half the lime and all the lime juice into a mini blender. Add double the quantity of olive oil. So 1 tbsp lime juice to 2 tbsps of oil.
- Add a pinch of salt, a grating of black pepper, basil leaves and a pinch of vanilla powder. Whizz until you have a smooth emulsion. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
- Slice the figs from tip to tip and arrange alternatively with the sliced mozzarella on a bed of mesclun or baby salad leaves.
- Drizzle over the dressing and garnish with the pine nuts and basil leaves.
- Buon appetito!