- Associated Press - Thursday, August 25, 2011

The same combination that makes pizza so irresistible — mozzarella and tomatoes — also makes a mean salad.

Just like a classically delicious pizza, you don’t need much beyond those two star ingredients to assemble a stunning salad, known in Italy as a caprese salad.

In this case, I simply stacked slabs of tomato and fresh mozzarella, then drizzled them with a lemon vinaigrette and sprinkled them with fresh basil and lemon zest.

To add a punch of tang, I added capers to the vinaigrette, as well as a sprinkle of them over the salad just before serving. Capers are the pickled unopened flower buds of a bush that grows in the Mediterranean. The flavor is pleasantly briny and herby.

Of course, like pizza, feel free pile on whatever else seems tasty.


Two 8-ounce balls fresh mozzarella

2 large slicing tomatoes

Salt and ground black pepper

¼ cup olive oil

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon capers, divided

Handful fresh basil leaves

Use a serrated knife to slice each ball of mozzarella into 4 slices. Repeat with the tomatoes, cutting each into 4 slices.

Stack 2 slices of tomato and 2 slices of mozzarella, alternating as you stack, on each of 4 serving plates. As you stack, season each tomato slice with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a blender, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and half of the capers. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a bit of the dressing over each mozzarella-tomato stack. Scatter several basil leaves, a few of the remaining capers and a bit of the lemon zest over each stack.

Serves four.

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