Chef’s rec­om­men­da­tion: a vari­a­tion on the Cap­rese salad

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - —AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

El­iz­a­beth Karmel is a bar­be­cue and South­ern foods expert. She is the chef and pit mas­ter at on­line re­tailer Carolina Cue To Go. com and the au­thor of three books, in­clud­ing Ta ming the Flame. The Cap re se salad of fresh moz­zarella, basil and toma­toes is uni­ver­sal ly loved.

I per­son­ally make it all summer long and although I mix up the toma­toes based on what I can buy at the farm­ers’ mar­ket, it is vir­tu­ally the same every time.

Since it is to­mato season and we waited a long time for this mo­ment, I looked for a new take on a summer fa­vorite — and found it in Crav­ings, model Chrissy Teigen’s cook­book that she co-wrote with Gourmet mag­a­zine alumna Adeena Suss­man.

Teigen adds a few new el­e­ments: She uses bur­rata — fresh moz­zarella with a creamy cen­ter — and cuts the toma­toes in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes, some slices, some wedges. She omits the tra­di­tional basil and adds arugula and de­li­cious, crunchy pro­sciutto chips which take this Cap­rese from or­di­nary good to ex­tra­or­di­nary great.

The pro­sciutto chips (she calls them crisps) are easy to pre­pare and make such a dif­fer­ence that I can’t be­lieve that I never thought of bak­ing thin slices of pro­sciutto into “chips”. You can sub­sti­tute them in al­most any recipe that calls for ba­con. Once the pro­sciutto bakes and cools, it is crispy and crunchy, salty and ad­dic­tive.

You’ll find this a welcome ad­di­tion to an al­ready pop­u­lar summer recipe.

Cap­rese salad with crispy pro­sciutto

Adapted from Crav­ings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat, by Chrissy Teigen.

Start to fin­ish: 20 min­utes

Serves 6

4 cups baby arugula

1 (8-ounce) ball bur­rata or

fresh moz­zarella cheese

2 pounds as­sorted ripe toma­toes

cut in a va­ri­ety of shapes (wedges,

slices, chunks, etc.)

3 ta­ble­spoons best-qual­ity olive oil

1 ta­ble­spoon bal­samic vine­gar

1-2 tea­spoons kosher salt

1?2 tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per

6-12 pro­sciutto crisps (recipe fol­lows)

Scat­ter the arugula on a serv­ing plat­ter and place the cheese in the cen­ter. Ar­range the toma­toes around the cheese.

Cut a small open­ing in the bur­rata/moz­zarella ball so you can see the cen­ter, and then driz­zle olive oil all around the plat­ter.

Driz­zle bal­samic vine­gar on the toma­toes and arugula. Season the en­tire salad with the salt and pep­per and top with the pro­sciutto crisps.

Pro­sciutto crisps

Pre­heat the oven to 400 F. Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per.

Ar­range the pro­sciutto in a sin­gle layer on the bak­ing sheet. Bake un­til wrin­kled and slightly shrunken, 11 to 13 min­utes. (It will crisp as it cools.) Cool, eat whole as a snack, or crum­ble and use as a gar­nish for sal­ads, eggs, or any­thing that could use crisp­ness and ham. (For me, that’s ev­ery­thing.)

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 245 calo­ries; 158 calo­ries from fat; 18 g fat (7 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 42 mg choles­terol; 862 mg sodium; 8 g car­bo­hy­drate; 2 g fiber; 5 g su­gar; 14 g pro­tein.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The tra­di­tional cap­rese salad (pic­tured) is a mix of bur­rata cheese, toma­toes and basil, but Chrissy Teigen’s recipe switches out the leafy herb with crunchy arugula and pro­sciutto chips.

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