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Insalata Caprese is a simple Italian antipasto (appetizer) from the region of Campania.  Sorry for what I’m about to do……

Campania Region of Italy

I apologize again, it had to be done, one of my dreams is to go to Italy and I can’t resist any chance to look at pictures.

Classically this salad is made of sliced, fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil leaves, seasoned with olive oil and sea salt.  You’d never guess such an uncomplicated dish would display such character and complex taste.  My twist makes this traditional starter into a main course meal.

Fresh cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella (please use fresh here, really worth it) and heart healthy basil pesto are tossed with grilled Italian seasoned chicken.  Creates a great summer salad versatile enough to be made through the remaining three seasons of the year, with the use of sweet cherry tomatoes. 

Delicious served on a bed of romaine lettuce drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar and crusty whole grain bread, or over steaming hot wheat pasta. To make into a fun appetizer, thread all salad components onto small bamboo skewers.  Healthy, easy, flavorful entertaining, this plate has it all!

CHICKEN CAPRESE SALAD

serves 4

  • 1 lb CHICKEN BREASTS, BONELESS, SKINLESS
  • 1 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
  • 1/2 tsp ITALIAN SEASONING, dried (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cup RED CHERRY TOMATOES, halved
  • 1 cup YELLOW CHERRY TOMATOES, halved (or additional red)
  • 4 oz FRESH MOZZARELLA CHEESE, chopped
  • 3 tbsp PESTO W/BASIL (use my Spinach-Basil Pesto recipe or store-bought)
  • 1 tsp FRESH LEMON JUICE
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

1. Pound chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper until thinned to about 1/2 inch thickness. Spray, or brush both sides with 1 tsp olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Grill or sauté in a skillet for about 6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Let set for 5-10 minutes and chop into cubes.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine halved tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto. Toss in warm chicken and stir to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. Serve warm, or cold on a bed of romaine lettuce drizzled with balsamic vinegar or a side salad, if desired.  Serving size: about 1 ½ cups salad or 1/4 of recipe.

VARIATIONS: Top on cooked, wholegrain pasta, toasted wheat baguette, baked on a pizza crust, or skewer for an appetizer.

Easy Caprese!

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 270 calories, 15g fat, 5g sat fat, 80mg cholesterol, 5g carb, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, 30g protein

Above Italy image sources:   http://www.italia.it/en/discover-italy/campania.html ,  http://www.centrometeoitaliano.it/il-clima-della-campania/ , http://www.trovoagente.it/Ricerca-Venditori-Campania.aspx , : http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Prontoitalia/ItinerariTuristici/Campania-la-penisola-sorrentina_640538602.html

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