Briny and slightly crispy fried capers punch up the flavor of this classic Italian tomato and mozzarella salad. This recipe first appeared with Leah Koenig's web-exclusive story One Ingredient, Many Ways: Capers.
Briny and slightly crispy fried capers punch up the flavor of this classic Italian tomato and mozzarella salad.
Yield: serves 4-6
Olive oil, for frying and drizzling
1⁄4 cup brine-packed capers, drained and patted dry
12 fresh basil leaves, patted dry
3 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4” thick
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4” thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Pour oil into a 2-qt. saucepan until a depth of 1⁄2” is reached. Heat over medium-high heat. Add capers and cook, stirring occasionally, until popped open and crisp, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Working in batches, fry basil leaves until crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
To serve, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices in an alternating pattern on a serving plate. Tuck the fried basil pieces between the tomato and mozzarella, season to taste with salt and pepper, and scatter with fried capers. Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil.