Caprese has been a staple at summer parties for as long as I can remember. Then I had to go dairy free and couldn’t enjoy this favorite appetizer. It was very sad. I had gone without this wonderful dish for years until this summer. Then all of a sudden I realized something…avocado would totally make a good mozzarella replacement! So I tested it at a Memorial Day party. Huge hit. Tested it again visiting family in Cali. Huge hit! Yay! I’m thrilled to be sharing the recipe with you.
How To Make A Darn Good Caprese
Creating a good Caprese is more than just grabbing anything you find on the grocery store shelf. I’m going to share my secrets with you. First up, tomatoes. I find regular, hot-house tomatoes to be flavorless and sometimes having a sandy texture. Gross. Heirloom tomatoes are the way to go. Not only are they pretty, they taste amazing. Next up, the extra virgin olive oil. I strongly recommend investing in a high quality (and expensive) extra virgin olive oil. I know we all want to save money but the cheap stuff is usually extremely bitter and cut with other oils. It isn’t pure. Here in Arizona, I love the Queen Creek Olive Mill olive oil. It’s made locally, in small batches, and kept in dark glass jars. Last but not least, is the balsamic vinegar. The older it is, the sweeter and less vinegar tasting it is. This will appeal to a wider array of palates.
Obviously, you can make more or less depending on the size of your party but this is my typical recipe. 2 heirloom tomatoes (they tend to be huge), 2 haas (the smaller) avocados, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. I slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices (ish) and lay them on the platter. Then I peel the skin off of the avocado (do not cut in half first!) and slice into 1/2 inch slices also. When you get to the seed, gently (very gently) remove with a spoon. It is okay if the avocado splits. Cut into slices and place each half onto one tomato. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Using scissors, cut basil into strips over the tomato and avocados. I use around 1/2 to 1 leaf per tomato.
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