This twist on a traditional Italian Caprese salad brings in the flavors of Mexico with fresh avocado, cilantro, thinly sliced jalapeño, lime and dried chile peppers.
As with all fresh tomato dishes, the quality of the produce is key. Luckily, it’s that time of year when you can find big, fat, juicy heirloom varieties perfect for slicing into slabs and arranging in a colorful display.
Use fresh mozzarella for the delicate, refreshing quality of a classic Caprese or sub in Oaxaca cheese for a more Mexican homage. Note: Nothing beats the bright flavor and coarse grind of Aleppo pepper, which can be purchased at most major and specialty grocery stores or online from Oakland’s Oaktown Spice Shop and others.
3 or 4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced in ½-inch slabs
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 large avocado, sliced
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeño, very finely sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt or sea salt flakes
½ teaspoon crushed Aleppo pepper
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Arrange the sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and avocado in a layered pattern on a large serving platter. Top with the cilantro and jalapeno. Squeeze the lime over the top, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with the sea salt flakes and Aleppo pepper.
Registered dietitian and food writer Laura McLively is the author of “The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook.” Follow her at @myberkeleybowl and www.lauramclively.com.
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