So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that no one from Capri is reading this right now. It’s no secret that Italians are fiercely passionate about their food and are total traditionalists. It’s cool guys, I get it. Seeing pasta swimming in sauce, Carbonara made with cream and ragù served with spaghetti makes my blood boil. In my book, pesto must be made with basil, pizza with minimal amounts of cheese and never, under any circumstances should Parma ham be cooked. Having said that there are some things that I can’t help but tamper with.
I was in Ticino last weekend when I witnessed the look on R’s face when we were served burrata with peaches. He was, to be frank, absolutely horrified. It was as if he’d just been handed a dead baby. Over the past 4 years I’ve seen this look of horror/rage on occasion, but I can hardly blame him. I mean he’s like any other Italian (or Swiss Italian for that matter), and the rule is clear: don’t mess with the food. But me being open minded I have always persuaded him to try new things even if it goes against the grain. For example he accepted and actually enjoyed the pistachios, capers and olives I laced my pesto pasta salad with. It was a proud moment in my kitchen. And that night after reassuring him peaches and burrata go together in the most incredible way, he tried it and obviously loved it. Duh.
Luckily here in London there’s a crazy availability of donut peaches and heirloom tomatoes during the summer months… and it would be stupid to waste the fruits of season, right? So what could be an ordinary and traditional caprese could turn into a sorry, not so sorry pretty incredible variation that your taste buds will be thanking you for. So go wild people, throw some peaches in your capreses and you won’t regret it. Just don’t add balsamic vinegar – that I can’t handle.
Peach Caprese Salad
2 balls of Buffalo mozzarella
A few Ida gold tomatoes
A couple of donut peaches (a little sweeter, firmer and less fuzzy than regular peaches – I urge you to get hold of some if you can)
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the mozzarella into slices then tear apart into halves. Slice the tomatoes and peaches into wedges. Arrange the three ingredients as you wish on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper and garnish with basil leaves.