This is an incredible time of year, with fruit and vegetables seeming to come into season with the frequency of trains arriving at Santa Maria Novella station in Florence. This week, it’s the turn of cherries. I have two small cherry trees at La Madera which yielded enough fruit for a cake, but a friend with several mature trees offered me a few from her garden. That ‘few’ turned out to be a huge bowl full which left me to put together a long list of things to make.
Caprese, as in Caprese Michelangelo (the name of my village) means ‘of the goats’. The village coat of arms contains a goat, and indeed legend has it that after his birth here in the castle, Michelangelo was left by his father, to be raised by the wife of a goat herd, before taking him off to Florence.
In cooking terms, for most people caprese is a salad. Nothing to do with goats there—the mozzarella cheese used to make it comes from buffalo milk—since the name derives from the island of Capri down in the bay of Naples. This tartlet, which I’ve named for the village, has a distinctly goaty flavour, as it uses Tuscan goat’s cheese.