The Caprese salad of fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes is universally loved.
I personally make it all summer long and although I mix up the tomatoes based on what I can buy at the farmers' market, it is virtually the same every time.
Since it is tomato season and we waited a long time for this moment, I looked for a new take on a summer favorite — and found it in "Cravings," model Chrissy Teigen's cookbook that she co-wrote with Gourmet magazine alumna Adeena Sussman.
Teigen adds a few new elements: She uses burrata — fresh mozzarella with a creamy center — and cuts the tomatoes in different shapes and sizes, some slices, some wedges. She omits the traditional basil and adds arugula and delicious, crunchy prosciutto chips which take this Caprese from ordinary good to extraordinary great.
The prosciutto chips (she calls them crisps) are easy to prepare and make such a difference that I can't believe that I never thought of baking thin slices of prosciutto into "chips." You can substitute them in almost any recipe that calls for bacon. Once the prosciutto bakes and cools, it is crispy and crunchy, salty and addictive.
You'll find this a welcome addition to an already popular summer recipe.
Caprese salad with crispy prosciutto
Adapted from "Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat," by Chrissy Teigen
Start to finish: 20 minutes
4 cups baby arugula
1 (8-ounce) ball burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese
2 pounds assorted ripe tomatoes cut in a variety of shapes (wedges, slices, chunks, etc.)
3 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
1?2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6-12 prosciutto crisps (recipe follows)
Scatter the arugula on a serving platter and place the cheese in the center. Arrange the tomatoes around the cheese.
Cut a small opening in the burrata/mozzarella ball so you can see the center, and then drizzle olive oil all around the platter.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar on the tomatoes and arugula. Season the entire salad with the salt and pepper and top with the prosciutto crisps.
Prosciutto crisps: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake until wrinkled and slightly shrunken, 11 to 13 minutes. (It will crisp as it cools.) Cool, eat whole as a snack, or crumble and use as a garnish for salads, eggs, or anything that could use crispness and ham. (For me, that's everything.)
Nutrition information per serving: 245 calories; 158 calories from fat; 18 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 42 mg cholesterol; 862 mg sodium; 8 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 14 g protein.
Elizabeth Karmel is a barbecue and Southern foods expert. She is the chef and pit master at online retailer CarolinaCueToGo.com and the author of three books, including "Taming the Flame."