Insalata Caprese is best enjoyed when tomatoes are at their best. Unfortunately, the picture depicts the sorry state of tomatoes in the off season.
The dish comes from Campania but you’ll find it all over Italy in varying quality. It is a simple dish, and therefore its succulence will vary wildly with the quality of its few ingredients. There is fresh mozzarella, best in Campania, ripe tomatoes, good olive oil, basil, and a bit of salt.
The recipe is easy. Slice the cheese and tomatoes in roughly in the same shape and arrange them like a display of playing cards, alternating them. Drizzle with oil, salt to taste, garnish with basil. Done!
The dish is also versatile. You can have it as a starter, but it can be listed as a primo or even a main course on hot days when you don’t feel like a big Italian meal. Whatever it’s listed as in the menu, you can ask to have it nearly anywhere during the course of the meal.
You can also cook up some spaghetti and mix the chopped ingredients into the pan with the drained pasta to warm them. It’s a popular thing to do in Naples.