2.112 Insalata Caprese with Romaine Lettuce in Balsamic Vinaigrette


27 (Wed) April 2011

Insalata Caprese with Romaine Lettuce in Balsamic Vinaigrette


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-


4 points, 1 for each component.

1.  I was inspired to make this salad upon discovering roma tomatoes, a rarity in Korea, at my neighborhood market.  Still on the vine, they’re blood red and absolutely gorgeous.  More important, they have a chewy density and rich sweetness that local tomatoes tend to lack.

2.  By coincidence, on The Naked Chef a couple days ago, Jamie Oliver was making some kind of salad with fresh mozzarella and noted a preference for breaking the cheese into chunks to give it a rustic feel, as opposed to slicing it, which he thought makes it look “plasticky.”  Hence, the crumbly looking cheese here (it looked better in person -the photo was a bit overexposed).

3.  Not a true caprese salad without fresh basil, but the balsamic vinaigrette had dried basil in it, so close enough.

4.  E-Mart, one of the country’s largest supermarket/department store chains and my family’s main source of groceries and sundries (they even sell camping gear), has been making notable efforts to diversify their non-Korean food selection.  On a daily basis, just with respect to produce, they now offer lemons, limes, blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, herbs (e.g., basil, rosemary, parsley, cilantro), celery, and … romaine lettuce. These items were virtually unattainable outside of specialty import stores, Costco, or the black market as recently as a couple years ago.

(For more details re food, see WHAT)

(For more details re venues, see WHERE IN KOREA)

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