This Fig and Mozzarella salad is going to become your new favorite twist on a classic Caprese salad. This is a Fig Caprese! Yes we are talking figs with cheese. The ripe fresh figs replace the tomatoes, making this a fruity yet savory addition to your dinner table.
What could be better than ripe figs, fresh mozzarella, good olive oil
Stew said I couldn't call this a Caprese salad, I half chose to listen to him! I went for Fig and Mozzarella Salad. But I wasn't going to let it go unnoticed that this has so many parts of a good Caprese Salad!
What is a Caprese Salad?
A Caprese salad is a classic Italian salad. It is made with fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil, seasoned with salt and great olive oil.
Here the tomatoes have been replaced with sweet ripe fresh figs!
Caprese salad with no tomatoes?
I know it sounds a little crazy but replacing the tomatoes with figs really does work so well.
And if we think about it, a tomato is a fruit, a fig is a fruit so it isn't too weird!
The sweetness of the fig works so well with the basil and the bite of the olive oil.
And creamy fresh mozzarella makes EVERYTHING better!
"Fresh figs are a delicious replacement for tomatoes in this Caprese Salad"
Is there a difference between fresh
mozzaella and loaf mozzarella?
Loaf mozzarella is sometimes called low moisture mozzarella, and the name kinds of gives it away. It is much harder and doesn't have the wet creamy consistency of fresh mozzarella.
Fresh mozzarella is much softer, creamier and will rip into delicious fibrous chunks.
Even better would be Buffalo Mozzarella (Mozzarella di Bufala) made with buffalo milk and oh so soft and creamy. It has a sweeter saltier tang to it and is so delicious. It is
Which mozzarella to use in a Caprese Salad?
Caprese salad has just 5 ingredients: Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, sea salt.
So it stands to reason that with so few ingredients that you want them to be the best they can be.
For this reason pick a fresh mozzarella that is packed in water. The texture and taste will be worth it.
Also allow your mozzarella cheese to come to room temperature before you eat it, this will change the taste and texture.
Why is mozzarella packed in water?
You can buy fresh mozzarella in bags or pots of water. Which actually isn't water at all, it is whey. The whey is designed to keep the mozzarella moist so that it still has the soft milky texture.
So do fig and cheese work together?
They sure do!!!
The sweet figs compliment the soft mozzarella perfectly.
Especially when paired with a delicious olive oil.
Do I need a special olive oil?
No, don't worry, these days you can buy great olive oil at the grocery store.
Don't worry if your preferred brand is Italian, Spanish or Greek. If it tastes good then use it. But please for the love of all things tasty, don't use a tasteless oil like canola or vegetable (or dare I say it avocado oil). It will add oiliness and nothing more to your Caprese salad. YUCK!
Don't forget to season your salad
You need the salt. I know salt gets a bad rap these days but there is no substitute for it here! It seasons your salad, making everything taste better: sweeter, milkier, creamier and fresher. Salt isn't just about adding a salty taste to our food; it actually makes foods taste more of themselves.
BUT MORE THAN THAT.
The sea salt adds a crunch to what is otherwise quite a soft salad. Use coarse sea salt to really add texture to the dish.
Add it just as you place the platter on the table, that way the crystals won't have had time to disolve.
Fresh pepper? Do you need it?
Whilst I refuse to be swayed on the need for salt, in my eyes pepper is a personal preference. Personally, I love the flecks of black and the bite it gives the salad. My kids are not so convinced! H
Choose your side and add/leave off the pepper as you prefer. What I will say is that freshly cracked black pepper straight from a grinder is 10,000% better than dusty pepper from an old spice jar - just saying 😉
Tips for making this Fig Caprese Salad Recipe
- Use ripe figs that are still holding their shape.
- Make sure the figs are at room temperature.
- Pick a fresh mozzarella stored in whey/brine.
- Have the cheese at room temperature.
- Use a great tasting olive oil (grocery stores have great choices)
- Don't forget to season generously with coarse sea salt.
If you love figs why not try this Fig Ricotta and Prosciutto Salad.
Why not pin this recipe for Fig and Mozzarella Salad (Fig Caprese). Pin it here.
Fig and Mozzarella Salad (Fig Caprese)
- 8-10 ripe fresh figs
- 2 fresh mozzarella balls approx 4oz/120g each
- small handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Cut the figs into halves or quarters and arrange on a platter/plate.
- Tear the mozzarella into rough chunks and arrange amongst the figs.
- Sprinkle the fresh basil over the salad, then dress with extra virgin olive oil and the sea salt.
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