August 14, 2023

Tomato Basil Capers and Onion

An Italian Twist to the Caprese Salad

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Tomato Basil Capers and Onion 5

Last summer in Tornio, Italy, I ordered this tomato dish as a first course. Although I believe that simple dishes can be exceptional, I was unsure about this one. I was concerned that it might be lacking in comparison to the classic tomato, basil, and mozzarella dish. However, I followed the recommendation of my Italian friends who live in Torino and ordered it. I was not let down, as it turned out to be an excellent choice.

As soon as the waiter placed the dish in front of me, I was captivated by its presentation. The intricately cut tomato and the finely shaved onion garnish sparked my interest. I was also impressed by the dish itself, which offers a beautiful way to savor the flavor of a fresh summer tomato without adding mozzarella cheese.

Preparing this dish is easy. Start by placing a fresh summer tomato on a plate and adding capers, basil, thin shavings of onion, quality extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. For the onion, it's best to use thin shavings instead of thick slices to avoid overpowering the tomato's flavor. To achieve this, you can use a cheese grater, microplane, or vegetable peeler to create the thinnest, most delicate shavings of onion. The result is a dish with a subtle and blended taste that's perfect for a summer day.

For this recipe, I prefer using a microplane, which is an essential kitchen tool. You can also use it for zesting oranges, lemons, ginger, nutmeg, and garlic.

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If you're pressed for time on a busy weeknight, there's no need to spend extra time cutting your tomato in the artful way shown in the photograph. However, if you're entertaining guests or have extra time to spare, it can be a delightful touch to present your tomato in a special way like this. How you present food can make it more or less interesting, especially for children since we eat with our eyes first. Surprising your family with a beautiful presentation can make dinner more exciting.

You might also be interested in the following posts;

Tomato Carpaccio

Roasted Tomato Soup

Tomato Farci

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