If there is one dish that embodies summer, it definitely is caprese. The Italian vibes, the freshness, the lightness of summer, and all the goodness. All of that not only is summer but can also be found in caprese. Not to mention how delicious it is! Still, as good as the classic one is, once in a while it is fun to switch things up and take them next level. Just as we are doing here.
Caprese actually is one of my favorite, if not my favorite dishes ever. When in Italy I have it at least once a day, in whichever form. Undoubtedly, the combo of tomatoes and burrata or mozzarella is unbeatable. I thought so at least before having tried this. And let me tell you, strawberry and mozzarella does not quite beat tomatoes an mozzarella but it definitely is at least as delicious!!
Where does Caprese come from?
Maybe you have already noticed; the colours in Caprese, green (from the basil), white (from the mozzarella) and red (from the tomatoes), are identical with the ones in the Italian flag. A coincidence? I don’t know but I don’t think so. The dish also has its name from an Italian island, Capri. There the dish was first served and still is a must serve. If you are a Caprese lover, Capri definitely should be on your food bucket list!
What’s special about this?
As mentioned above, this is not your average Caprese. We‘re still keeping the colors, but we‘re changing up the flavors. Instead of tomatoes we are using strawberries and we also are adding some herbed chickpeas to it. You may wonder whether a fruit would taste good in a savory dish, and really, it does (tomato btw is a fruit to, so it‘s not too big of a change). Tomatoes are a bit sweet, and so are strawberries. They definitely do have a quite different flavor, yet the sweetness works in great harmony with the tanginess of the mozzarella.
Plus, the chickpeas are not typical. To all Italian out there, please don’t judge before you try! They add some extra texture and flavor and keep you full for longer due to their fibre. And mozzarella and chickpeas taste really delicious when combined.
Mozzarella, Burrata, Mozzarella di Bufola?
Before we are jumping to the health part of the dish, we need to clarify which kind of Mozzarella works best here. What even is the difference?
So Mozzarella is the regular one. Depending on where you live and from where you buy the mozzarella, it can be harder of softer, yet it already has the typical mozzarella flavor. This one works great for anything that is being baked, like pizza or pasta gratins. Mozzarella di Buffola, is already way softer and higher quality mozzarella. It has a milder flavor and is way creamier than the regular one. Thus, it also is more expensive. This is the one you usually are served in Italy.
And then there is burrata. I need to warn you though, once you try burrata, you‘ll habe a hard time returning to mozzarella di Buffola or even regular mozzarella. Burrata kind of is the queen of all mozzarella, and well deserved. It comes from Puglia, in the south of italy, and is made from a day old mozzarella and cream. And the result. Oh my goodness. Unreal. Such a creamy and tangy center, you cannot get enough of it. It just is unreal. Burrata usually is served with either caprese or on top of pasta for example.
So which one works best for this dish?
I would say mozzarella di bufola. Burrata would taste amazing but since it is so creamy, the salad would turn into a (delicious) mess.
What about the chickpeas?
It wouldn’t do the mozzarella justice if we chose an A-level mozzarella but then some regular canned chickpeas – would it? So the chickpeas also have to be next level. Just like the ones from NENI. They actually are simply PERFECT for this dish. Why? They are precooked and prepackaged, so you can just grab them in your supermarket and make this dish even quicker. And they are ore spiced with ultra tasty Mediterranean spices and herbs. These herbs work perfectly together with the mozzarella and strawberries. These spiced chickpeas make this dish 10x more delicious and even healthier, because you get so many nutrients from them. If you somehow have access to getting those chickpeas, you definitely should!
Is this dish healthy?
We can definitely say so. As a base we have the strawberries, which are loaded with vitamins and fibre and nutrients. (Btw, did you know, you could eat the green part of the strawberries? It still blows my mind). Then we have got the chickpeas, which also are an amazing source of protein and fibre. So they‘ll keep you full and happy and help your digestion. And then, not to forget about the mozzarella; it is rather high in fat, that needs to be said, but also in protein. The olive oil accounts for some unsaturated, healthy fats and the basil for some extra nutrients. All in all, pretty healthy!
How to make this dish?
This is beyond easy. Really. All we need to do is wash and slice the strawberries, chop the mozzarella and toss with the chickpeas, basil, oil and vinegar. Yup, that’s all. Then we only need to pack it for our picnic 🙂
Meal prep friendly?
Definitely! Otherwise it would not be a great picnic dish would it? You can store it in the fridge – even for a day if you want. This actually intensifies the flavors because the juices of the strawberries will run out and combine with the mozzarella.
This definitely is one of the easiest and most delicious meals you could make. It is amazing for those hot summer days when you just want a quick lunch, but also for warm and sunny picnics in the park! I hope you‘ll really enjoy this and have an amazing time picnicing!
The Easiest 10 Minute Strawberry and Chickpea Caprese
Easy to make, super quick, super refreshing and super delicious! Really, this is next level and not your average caprese (much better!). The strawberries and an amazing sweet-summery twist to it and all in all it is super delicious! A must make!
What you will need
- 1 package NENI Kichererbsen Salat mit frischen Kräutern
- 250 g strawberries
- 1 Package mozzarella cheese (around 120-150g)
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 handful greens (such as baby spinach)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Wash the strawberries and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Add them to a bowl along with the chickpeas, the mozzarella, the olive oil and the finely chopped basil. Give it a good mix, then divide onto bowls.
Drizzle some balsamic vinegar and serve with fresh basil! Enjoy!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière