Do you remember Homer’s story The Odyssey, when Odysseus ties himself to his ship’s mast in order to not succumb to the call of the Sirens?
Reportedly, Odysseus was near the dramatic cliffs of the south coast of Isola di Capri, the fabulous isle located in Italy’s Bay of Naples, when the enchanting Sirens tried to lure him into those cliffs as they had many a sailor.
A different delicacy from that part of Italy, mozzarella di bufala, has been calling out to us lately, and unlike Odysseus we have succumbed with little restraint.
La Caprese, which takes its name from Isola di Capri, is a classic dish that can be used as an appetizer or a second course. Good mozzarella and flavorful tomatoes are a must.
Ground black pepper
Slice your mozzarella 1/4″ thick. Do the same to your tomatoes. Arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella, one overlapping another, on a large plate. Use a kitchen scissors to snip small pieces of basil, and sprinkle them liberally over the tomatoes and mozzarella. Salt liberally, and grind black pepper on top. Drizzle plenty of good extra-virgin olive on top. Enjoy with good, crusty bread.
We paired our Caprese with a wine from the Campania region, where mozzarella di bufala is also from. Fiano di Avellino is a white wine with a bright acidity. The Fiano grape grows in the area’s volcanic soils, giving the wine a distinctive minerality.