Stone Fruit Caprese
A standout caprese starts with great fruit. You need ripe tomatoes to weep juices, which then mingle with grassy olive oil and milky cheese to make your dressing. Basil adds freshness, black pepper and flakes of sea salt add crunch, and that’s it, a perfect combination. But if the stone fruit options are looking better than the tomatoes at the market, you can use them instead. They’re similar in flavor to tomatoes, but need cajoling to relinquish their juices. By letting sliced fruit macerate with salt, sugar and lemon juice, their fruitiness becomes more electric and their juices pool on the plate. Start with fruit you can smell and pair it with equally quality ingredients. Caprese is more about shopping than cooking.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2pounds ripe but firm stone fruit (such as nectarines, peaches, plums, cherries or a mix)
- 1tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as needed
- 2teaspoons granulated sugar, plus more as needed
- Flaky sea salt
- 8ounces fresh mozzarella, at room temperature
- About 20 basil and/or mint leaves, torn if large
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1Pit the stone fruit and cut into irregular pieces. Transfer to a serving platter, then sprinkle with the lemon juice, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt. Toss with your hands, then let sit until juices pool on the platter, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust sugar, salt and lemon juice until the fruit tastes perky and bright — like the greatest stone fruit you’ve eaten.
Step 2Tear the mozzarella into bite-size pieces and nestle it among the fruit. Tuck in the herb leaves. Drizzle the platter with olive oil. If the cheese looks dry, add a little more oil. Sprinkle with a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of flaky salt, and serve.