Chef's recommendation: a variation on the Caprese salad

( Agencies ) Updated: 2016-07-30 14:46:35

Chef's recommendation: a variation on the Caprese salad

The traditional caprese salad (pictured) is a mix of burrata cheese, tomatoes and basil, but Chrissy Teigen's recipe switches out the leafy herb with crunchy arugula and prosciutto chips.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Elizabeth Karmel

is a barbecue and Southern foods expert. She is the chef and pit master at online retailer and the author of three books, including Taming the Flame. 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

Serves 6

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)

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