Do you really need a recipe for Caprese, probably not, it is the simplest of salads, combine sliced tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and you are done? But to me, a Caprese is screaming out for some texture and the Black Olive Topping below does just that. It is a cross between a pesto, tapenade, and crumb, with a massive hit of salt and umami, just what summer ripe tomatoes and creamy mozzarella are calling out for!
For Black Olive Topping:
- 40g (¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted
- 60g (⅓ cup) pitted black olives
- 15g (approximately 4) anchovies
- 60ml (4 tablespoons) olive oil
- 1 kilo (2 pounds/approximately 6 large) ripe tomatoes
- 340g (12 ounces) fresh mozzarella
- 5g (¼ cup) fresh basil, chopped
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
To make topping:
- Roughly chop the toasted pine nuts, black olives and anchovies. Alternatively, you can place the pine nuts, olives, and anchovies in a small food processor and pulse a couple of times, just to roughly chop. Combine the chopped ingredients in a small bowl, add the olive oil and mix. Set aside until ready to use.
- Can be made up to a week ahead of time, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature before using.
To Assemble the salad:
- Slice the tomatoes into ½ cm (¼ inch) thick slices, top with mozzarella that has been sliced to approximately the same thickness.
- Just before serving, top with chopped basil and a few tablespoonfuls of Black Olive Topping. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Serve the remaining black olive crumb on the side with bread.