AFTER A taste of sunshine in April – it might not seem like it now, when the weather is bad – one thing is certain: summer is coming.

As the weather gets warmer and it stays lighter for longer on an evening, our eating habits change. We shun our stodgy, warm, wintery comfort foods for lighter meals, and our cosy dining rooms for al fresco eating.

For my recipe this month, I thought I’d bring you a taste of Italy in the summer, and a dish that can be easily prepared and eaten outdoors – weather permitting.

Caprese salad is a popular dish in Italy, and it is so simple to make. It was created to resemble the Italian flag, with green basil, white mozzarella and red tomatoes, with the simple addition of salt and olive oil.

Insalata Caprese literally translates as Salad of Capri. As is always the case, there are several origin stories floating around.

One thing that seems certain from the name is that the dish originated in Capri, a small island off the coast of Italy, but all that is known for sure is that the salad originated in the Campania region.

It is said that the dish was invented in the early 20th century, with the purpose of suiting the palate of visiting royalty and politicians. It was also a patriotic welcome to the country, with the traditional Italian flag presentation.

It is said that the dish did not gain fame until the 1950s, when Egyptian King Farouk discovered it while on holiday. He is credited with inventing the Caprese sandwich, which was apparently his favourite way of eating the dish.

Caprese salad is the perfect summer dish, because it showcases all of the best ingredients Italy has to offer, and summer is a great time to get your hands on ripe tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

It is a dish that requires minimal preparation, no cooking time and can be served as an appetiser or to accompany a main course.

I decided to bring you a twist on a Caprese salad, taking the ingredients and stuffing them inside a chicken breast, before frying the chicken in breadcrumbs to create a warm take on the classic.

Perfect for when the weather is still a little cold, but light enough for summer nights too.

While the dish does require a little preparation work, and a relatively short cooking time, it is still a very simple dish that is easy to make at home.

You can serve your chicken with a salad, vegetables or even something simple like potato wedges, all of which will perfectly compliment the recipe.

You could even place your stuffed chicken breast inside a ciabatta roll to make the ultimate Caprese sandwich – a twist that King Farouk would be proud of.

• Have you missed any of Nick’s previous La Dolce Vita articles for the Keighley News? Never fear, simply visit the website, click on What’s On then Out & About, and you’ll find them all.