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#19 – Caprese Salad and the Moka Pot

#19 – Caprese Salad and the Moka Pot

A super-easy summer favorite and a great cup of joe! It does not get more fresh and satisfying than these two Italian favorites of mine.

Ingredients for Caprese Salad

Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh Tomoatoes

Fresh Basil

Olive oil, Balsamic vinegar(sour) or glaze(sweet), salt, and pepper (optional)

 

  1. Cut mozzarella and tomato into an equal number of slices. I recommend about 1 centimeter thick pieces.
  2. Arrange nicely on a plate. Layer your mozzarella and tomato slices, topping each pair with a fresh basil leaf (or half a leaf).
  3. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or glaze and extra virgin olive oil, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

 

Moka pot! Also called a stove-top espresso maker, this Italian innovation may just make you skip the drip/press/pod coffee you’ve been drinking. Patented by Bialetti in 1933, these pots exist in a range of sizes and colors…and prices. Luckily, it’s not the hardest thing to find on the cheap from second-hand stores or auctions.

The moka pot is ingenious in it’s simplicity. It has three parts: a bottom pot, a top pot, and the metal filter. The bottom pot is filled with water, into which the metal filter (filled with your favorite coffee, ground on the finer side) snugly fits. Then the top pot twists on, and you are ready to brew on stove-top. I recommend keeping the lid open so you know when it starts brewing. It usually takes 4-5 minutes for the water to boil and push through the grounds, up into the spout, and spill into the top pot. Once the top pot is a little over half full, the rate as which it’s coming out will visibly quicken and intensify. That’s your cue to take it off the heat as it fills the rest of the way.

The liquid it produces is not quite a syrupy as espresso from a modern machine, but it’s certainly a lot thicker than drip coffee. When used with the right beans, the result is exquisite and you may notice flavor profiles that you wouldn’t with a different brewing technique (my Colombian roast Gevalia tastes a lot more fruity, almost cranberry-like) and it’s my favorite way to make coffee if I’m being my own fancy barista.

TIPS: *The pot may be very hot, since typically they are all metal besides the small handle.*

*If you purchase second-hand, check the gasket inside to see whether it needs to be replaced. They’re fairly easy to find/buy, but a new gasket will make all the difference since the pot relies on keeping all the pressure inside. *

 

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