This is my ultimate go to salad. You will always find in our fridge: fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and tomatoes. Seriously, my room mate Jen and I hoard these three ingredients. Let me explain how serious we really are about our obsession. While we were in Cancun several years ago, unknown to us, Hurricane Emily was around the corner, we were told to move inland. Lucky for us we found a small hotel. After we settled in the hotel, we went to find food to buy (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). When we arrived to the grocery store, most of the food was gone, (everyone had the same idea), but we did find some of our favorites: Vodka, tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, fresh bread, avocado, and potato chips. Jen was responsible for the water, Advil and other key things, so when we met at the cash register she was very surprised by my “emergency gourmet stash”. To quote her “We aren’t going on a picnic”. I did buy my basket full of goodies. The next morning after the hurricane had come and gone, with no electricity or food anywhere to be bought, my little gourmet purchases proved their worth! We made so many friends and barted food for more alcohol. Caprese Salad you are forever in our hearts and fridge..
Back to last night’s caprese salad… To bring out the sweetness in the tomatoes, I sprinkled Sumac on them for 30 minutes before serving. Sumac is a middle eastern spice that we grew up with. It’s part of the berry family, has a deep burgundy color; and has a fruity aroma with a lingering freshness. The taste is initially salty, but then becomes tangy. Adding sumac actually makes the tomatoes taste more “tomatoey”.