SRQ Daily- A Modern Take on a Summer Classic

To the untrained eye, the unassuming caprese salad could easily be written off; with only three main ingredients, the beloved Italian dish is deceptively simple. However, dive deeper into Element’s modern take on the already refined classic, and you’ll find a level of meticulous detail, with bright flavors and stunning presentation.

When creating a flawless caprese, as with any uncooked dish, ingredients are everything, and the bright, beautiful plate that arrives in front of you started small – very small. The fresh wedges of tomato are not your standard variety, but heirloom tomatoes; note the striking array of irregular sizes and colors. Heirloom tomatoes are grown from seeds passed down from generation to generation, their marvelous flavor unaffected by the hybridization that creates the often-bland, picture-perfect produce found in the every day grocery store.  These seeds carry with them decades of hard work and family tradition, which are apparent in each and every forkful.

Not to be upstaged, the tomatoes are complimented perfectly by burrata cheese, which is a close cousin of the more commonly used mozzarella. Burrata means “buttery” in Italian, and the name serves as a hint at the creamy, delicate flavor within. The burrata is covered in a soft, thin shell of pasta filata, or stretched-curd, which is formed into a hollow pouch. This pouch is filled with fresh pulled and shredded cheese and rich, buttery cream. Nicknamed the queen of Italian cheeses, burrata offers a sweet, milky respite from the otherwise intense flavors of the salad.

Finished with micro basil, extra virgin olive oil, and a hearty drizzle of balsamic reduction, Element’s caprese salad is a proud tribute to its Mediterranean inspiration, and an impeccable overture that sets the tone for an incredible evening at Element.

Written by Cori Spuriell

Abby Hincker