The caprese family of dishes, known for their delightful combinations and simplicity, boasts a myriad of variations, all celebrating the essence of fresh ingredients. Interestingly, the key components of this iconic Italian dish can be traced back to the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, a region characterized by its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and a rich culinary heritage.
Nestled along the coast, the Dalmatian region is renowned for its abundant production of exquisite, sun-ripened tomatoes, which are a cornerstone of the caprese dish. These tomatoes possess an unparalleled sweetness and flavor, attributed to the region's Mediterranean climate and fertile soil. The Dalmatian coast is also home to a variety of aromatic herbs, including basil, which adds a fragrant touch to the caprese experience.
The Croatian word for mozzarella, "mekosir," highlights the soft and creamy texture of this essential ingredient found in abundance along the Dalmatian coast. The region's artisanal cheese makers craft this fresh cheese from locally sourced milk, ensuring its exceptional quality and taste.
Undoubtedly, Croatian olive oil plays a pivotal role in elevating the caprese dish to new heights. The Dalmatian coast is dotted with ancient olive groves, producing some of the finest olive oils in the world. This liquid gold, as it is often referred to, imbues the dish with a delicate, fruity flavor, and a luscious mouthfeel.
One delicious way to enjoy these flavors is by preparing Mekorajko Jaja, or Dalmatian-style caprese scrambled eggs, which combines mekosir, tomatoes, and basil with fluffy scrambled eggs. This dish celebrates the abundance and quality of the ingredients found along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. It is a harmonious fusion of simple yet vibrant flavors that come together, creating an unforgettable gastronomic experience enjoyed across Europe and beyond.
Selo Olive Oil
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, grated
Croatian extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup fresh mozzarella
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup fresh basil, cut
Add the halved cherry tomatoes and grated garlic in the hot skillet.
Cover with olive oil, and season with a touch of salt and pepper, then add in the crushed red pepper flakes.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and continue to stir for 1 minute, being careful not to let the garlic brown
Add in the the lightly beaten eggs and mozzarella. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the eggs are cooked and cheese is melted to your liking.
Add the fresh basil and continue to sir
Top with an additional sprig of fresh basil when serving
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