Insalata Caprese is basically a simple salad made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. It is dee-lish! and one of my favorite flavor combos! When I found the recipe Balsamic Chicken and Fresh Mozzarella on allrecipes.com I knew right away it would be a winner!
I made some changes to the recipe as written. I don't use store bought dressings any longer, so I made the dressing using Mama's Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe I found on allrecipes.com (imagine that). This is easy to make and a delicious vinaigrette as written, but you can adjust the flavors to your liking. If you prefer it to be more sweet then add some sugar. If you like it more tangy - add some more vinegar. I always play around with flavors by adding a little of this and a little of that and just tasting after each addition until it's the way I like it. I've found this is a good way to develop your palate too. By tasting after adding each ingredient you will learn how that ingredient affects the flavor of the dish. I always do this with salt, especially. It is amazing how a little salt can enhance flavors! Give it a try!
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast Halves
1 cup Mama's Balsamic Vinaigrette (or purchased dressing)
2-3 Roma Tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces fresh Mozzarella, sliced (not the bagged stuff)
8 large Fresh Basil Leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Place chicken in a 9x13" dish, salt and pepper with just a pinch on each, and pour 1 cup Mama's Balsamic Vinaigrette over chicken. Cover and let marinate in fridge for a few hours or overnight. Mine marinated for about 5 hours and it was very flavorful. I like to remove from fridge about an hour before cooking to bring to room temperature.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30-40 minutes until an instant read thermometer registers between 150 and 155 degrees F. when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken. Cook time will vary according to the size of your chicken. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Let rest 10 minutes.
To serve, top with sliced mozzarella (I used 2 slices per chicken), 2 basil leaves, and tomatoes (I used 3 slices of tomatoes). You want to cover the top of the chicken with the salad so you can enjoy the flavors in each bite, so choose the amount of cheese, basil, and tomatoes according to the size of your chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! Discard the marinade
That's it! No need to melt the cheese in the oven or warm the tomatoes. The heat from the chicken will melt the cheese slightly. This dish is designed to be enjoyed this way. We found it very refreshing and so full of flavor! Give it a try and let me know what you think!