I think it is important for Americans to have an idea of the standard dishes that are typically referred to with their Italian names on menus. One standard is the insalata caprese – this is not a typical salad in American terms, but it is delicious!
Insalata Caprese is a salad in the style of Capri. It comes from the Italian region of Campania, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, plum tomatoes and basil. It is seasoned with salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Ideally, the mozzarella is di bufala campana, the olive oil is extra virgin from the peninsula of Sorrento and the tomatoes and basil are grown in the full sun of the mezzogiorno (half day). The dish reproduces the colors of the flag of Italy – red, white & green.
MM and I create a slightly different version with sliced mozzarella di bufala and sliced plum tomatoes sprinkled with course sea salt and oregano and drizzled with olive oil (not extra virgin).