Nothing says summer like a caprese salad, are we right? The crisp acidity of the tomato paired the creamy softness of the fresh mozzarella, topped with fragrant olive oil, sea salt and basil -- no wonder it's a staple on so many restaurant menus in Canada.
Now just imagine travelling to Italy to savour your salad in the town of Sorrento, with cheese so freshly made it was literally milk from a cow mere hours before. That's the journey celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito took to learn how to make bocconcini mozarella and caprese salad from a master cheesemaker and Italian mama of two, Maria Ercolano.
In the first episode of DiSpirito's Now Eat This! series for AOL.On, the 'Restaurant' star and former 'Dancing With The Stars' contestant goes to the source and learns how to make fresh soft cheese from milk he milked off a cow himself. Ercolano teaches him how to make a caprese in the traditional way using only the freshest ingredients. It's like simple perfection on a plate.
Until you consider that a healthy serving of that salad can amount to 450 calories. 450 calories?! But DiSpirito isn't deterred -- he's got a few simple tricks of his own to shave off more than 280 calories in a version that's just as tasty.
Check out the video above for Rocco's caprese salad transformation -- set in the beautiful Italian countryside.