Caprese di Pesca & Pomodorini sulla Griglia
Grilled Peach & Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
Think of the Summer, think of Italy and you will think of the Caprese salad- everyones favorite tomato, basil and mozzarella- what could be better than that on a hot sunny day? Well... maybe this! What a wonderful idea, to push that classic combination just a little out of the box and to add grilled peach slices into the mix? Sounded like a good idea to me... and indeed it was!
As an afterthought, I decided to grill some cherry tomatoes, rather than to use the regular fresh sliced tomatoes that normally go into a Caprese. And a new star on the salad bar was born! If you like Caprese you will love this- talk about an Italian Summer on a plate!
The only thing to remember is to set down the peach slices in the direction that you would like to have the scorch-marks- and to leave them be! Don't move them for at least 2 minutes, so that the natural juices have a chance to appear and sizzle on the bars of the grill or the ridges of the pan and to do their thing and turn brown!
The cherry tomatoes will only really work on a pan and you need to stay with them. I didn't use any oil on either the peaches or the tomatoes- I wanted all of the flavor to come from the juices and especially in the case of the tomatoes, I wanted the flavor to intensify as the tomatoes dried out a little.
I removed the peaches and tomatoes from the griddle as soon as they were done and set them to one side to cool. Whilst they were cooling, I drained the mozzarella and cut it into slices- it is always better to let the mozzarella dry out a little, it soaks of the flavors of the seasonings and dressing much better that way.
Speaking of which... it was soon time to get decorative! I laid out the basil leaves first and then layered and fanned-out the peaches and mozzarella. I scattered the remaining slices and the grilled tomatoes around the outside and sprinkled everything with fresh thyme, salt and pepper. A light drizzle of olive oil and a splash of white Balsamico and a most wonderful salad was ready to be served... and to be enjoyed! Buon appetito!