We have recently planted over 45 different varieties of tomato in our Market Garden and in a matter of weeks time they will be ripe and ready for eating – just in time for our Weekend of Cookery with chef Nina Parker at our Cookery School.

How could we therefore fail to share with you this brilliant and traditional Salad Caprese recipe from Nina’s new book Nina Capri. 

Salad Caprese

“This the salad of all tomato salads. There are many stories that dateback to 1920 of this recipe, one of which mentions a version appearing in bread. Perhaps the most memorable is the story of King Farouk, the notorious gourmand, who asked for something light and refreshing as an appetiser at the Capri hotel, Quisisana.

On his request, he was given a sandwich stuffed with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. This sandwich later evolved into the classic tomato and mozzarella salad that is now served all over the world.

Early on, cow’s milk mozzarella was used in the salad but these days it is often made with Campania’s buffalo milk.

This salad is unmistakably Italian thanks to the colours representing the nation’s flag. Even though I adore the classic version, I find this one a little more memorable with its punchy dressing.” 

INGREDIENTS 

FOR THE SALAD:

225g golden cherry tomatoes, halved
200g tomatoes on the vine, quartered
150g kumato (dark green variety), sliced
handful of tarragon leaves, torn
200g tomatoes on the vine, quartered
150g kumato (dark green variety), sliced
handful of tarragon leaves, torn
handful of basil leaves, torn, plus extra to garnish
100g toasted spelt or rye croutons
1 buffalo mozzarella ball (about 200g), torn

FOR THE DRESSING:

1/2 garlic clove, diced
2 anchovies, finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (aged if possible)
a few drops of lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

METHOD DIFFICULTY: EASY 

Start with the dressing. On a chopping board, use the back of a knife to crush the garlic and anchovies together to form a paste. Put the paste in a small bowl along with the remaining dressing ingredients and mix. 

For the salad, put all the ingredients except the mozzarella in a large mixing bowl. Pour in half of the dressing and toss well. Divide between 2 bowls and scatter with the torn mozzarella, then drizzle over the remaining dressing. Garnish with extra basil leaves and serve immediately. 

Recipe from Nina Capri by Nina Parker, published in hardback, 2 June 2016 (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25) © Paul Winch-Furness Sala