We’re marrying my favorite summer foods together, a classic Italian salad and Mexican flavors! Today’s Mexican Caprese is a nod to an Italian specialty, yet with bold Mexican spice.
We spent over three weeks in Italy this summer. As fantastic as the food was, I’m ashamed to admit, there were a few times I craved a little more variation in our meals.
One night in Florence we were drawn into a Chinese restaurant by the thick aroma of garlic and sweet ginger wafting from the windows. Who knew asian restaurants in Italy were so irresistible?! Another day we watched the US play in the World Cup and ate burgers. Other than that, we ate cured meats, cheese, rustic bread, apricots, cherries, eggplant, seafood, and a lot of pasta.
I loved it all. Even a classic caprese platter seemed more enticing in Italy.
Yet the one food I craved with passion, and could never find in Italy, was Mexican cuisine. A guide asked us one day if we were missing home. I quickly told him the only thing I was missing was Mexican food.
I would even look for Mexican spices or ingredients when strolling through Italian markets… just in case. And once I ordered a caprese salad in a restaurant and when it came to the table I couldn’t stop thinking about how good it would taste with a little hot sauce.
So that’s exactly how this Mexican Caprese came to be.
I took the classic caprese elements of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, then swapped the basil for avocado and cilantro, and the olive oil for my favorite Old El Paso Taco Sauce.
And you know what? This slight, yet bold, change is a tasty twist on the original that is completely addictive. Fusion food at its finest!
The rest of the summer, I’ll be serving this simple Mexican Caprese at backyard barbecues and weekend parties because it’s so quick to make and pairs well with all your grilled summer favorites. I served it to my family with seared flank steak and the kids fought over the last few zesty tomatoes as if they were candy.
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