Saturday, 8 June 2013

So Capricious!

Insalata Caprese di Tamarillo & Mozzarella
Tamarillo & Mozzarella Caprese Salad

Actually, there is nothing capricious about this little Summer salad here, nothing random or unpredictable about me using Tamarillo to make it either... I saw them at the indoor market today and was instantly taken by how perfect they looked- and just had to have one!

I had never eaten tamarillo before today, I just knew roughly what it was supposed to taste like- a slightly tart and sour, vaguely tomato-like flavor and consistency I had heard say. Hmmm... that immediately got me thinking of making a variation on the theme of a Caprese salad and using it to replace the tomato. That was what made this capricious ;-) I hope you can excuse my poor play on words there!

One other main difference between a tamarillo and a tomato is the much, much tougher skin, which you do have to peel off. To do so, I made an "x" cut into the end of the tamarillo and held it, using the conveniently long stalk, in boiling water for a minute or so until the skin began to split and come away at the cut in exactly the same way you would a tomato or peach. Easy. And the good news is... apart from a little slicing, that is the most difficult part of making this!

Obviously, all there is to making this salad, is the layering of tamarillo, mozzarella and basil leaves, on a bed of arugula. Very easy indeed. But the fun happens when it comes to seasoning- as the tomatillo is indeed rather sour tasting, which might normally be a negative for a lot of people, but being as you would usually add a vinegar to a regular tomato caprese- that just saved you one ingredient!

In this case, I dressed the salad by drizzling it with olive oil and honey, sprinkling with salt and dried marjoram and then giving it a generous sprinkle of toasted chili flakes... yum! 

The combination of the hot chili, the sweet honey, the sour tamarillo, the mild and creamy mozzarella, the fragrant basil and the peppery arugula, dressed in a good olive oil was... well... pretty amazing! Even if I do say so myself! So I do hope that you maybe like it too- with some nice rustic bread, this was a perfect light evening meal! Give it a try... and then you'll see why!


  1. Love this - great use of tamarillo - fantastic pic too - at first glance it almost looked like slices of perfectly cooked egg yolk! Cheers

  2. Thank you Carole! It was the first time I had ever eaten one... and the combination was great! Glad you like it! Francesco

  3. You know, I've never tried a tamarillo. But this sounds really nice and looks ever so pretty...

  4. Well you know Frank- I only made it so that you would like it ;-) Glad you do! try it- it is sour as a fruit on it's own, but the combination with the mozzarella, honey and olive oil was nice and refreshing... and better still with the chili! Best wishes from a rainy Frankfurt! Francesco