A Simple Caprese Salad

Hello Summer, my old friend! The smell of walking through my garden this summer evening is filled with the scent of tomato plants happily growing beside the basil. The peonies are popping, the cherries are ripening, there’s splashing in the pool, and the bbq sizzles in the background.

A simple caprese salad on a table with a bottle of balsamic and cutlery

Nothing screams the long days of Summer quite like a Caprese salad. Layers of heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves. This simple salad is a perfect addition to any bbq. A total crowd-pleaser and quick to assemble. It’s a win-win! The secret to a good Caprese salad is having the best in-season produce, allowing the individual flavours to shine.

This is not so much of a recipe, but a guide on how to make a Caprese Salad. If you just love mozzarella (like I do), then go for it, and add more. You really can’t go wrong with this one. If you can get your hands on some burrata, even better. It’s creamy inside just oozes when cut open to create the most delicious salad. Or even buffalo mozzarella, the rich, creamy star of all mozzarella. Play with it, and make it your own. Use this salad as a jumping-off point. Try adding some sliced avocado and scatter with kalamata olives. Or nix the balsamic and substitute with a fresh, basil pesto.

Here’s what you need to make a Caprese salad

  • Tomatoes – the best that you can get
  • Fresh mozzarella, bocconcini or burrata
  • Fresh basil leaves – bonus points if you pick fresh from your own garden
  • Extra virgin olive oil, an aged basamic vinegar
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
  • English spinach – while English spinach is not a traditional Caprese salad ingredient, it’s one of my favourite vegetables and so good for you. It’s a staple in nearly every green salad I make. I also like to sneak in extra greens when I can – that’s the Mumma in me!

A quick note on balsamic vinegars

Authentic balsamic vinegars are rated on a leaf system advertised on the label. When you are cooking the balsamic look for a two-leaf balsamic. When drizzling over salads (like this recipe) use a three or four (AH-MAZ-ING) balsamic. This one is my favourite. You don’t need a lot when using a good balsamic. Use it sparingly. A good bottle will last quite a while.

TIP: Put an oil pourer on your balsamic bottle to ensure you get a light, even drizzle over your salad

The details…

  1. Get all your ingredients together. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella into thick slices. I normally aim for a thickness of about 5mm.
  2. On a plate scatter the English spinach leaves. Layer the tomato, mozzarella and basil on top of the spinach.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and freshly cracked pepper.

Variations

Instead of serving as a salad, layer the ingredients onto sliced, sourdough for a tasty bruschetta appetiser or lunch favourite.

Caprese salad goes well with…

Print
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a simple caprese salad on a table with cutlery and a bottle of balsamic vinegar

A Simple Caprese Salad

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x
  • Category: BBQ, Salad
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Nothing screams the long days of Summer quite like a Caprese salad. Layers of heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves. This simple salad is a perfect addition to any bbq. A total crowd-pleaser and quick to assemble. It’s a win-win!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 mozzarella balls
  • English spinach
  • fresh basil leaves
  • olive oil (extra virgin)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt flakes
  • black pepper (fresh, coarse ground)

Instructions

  1. Get all your ingredients together on a chopping board
  2. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into 5mm wide slices.
  3. On a plate scatter the English spinach leaves. Layer the tomato, mozzarella and basil on top of the spinach.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and freshly cracked pepper.

Keywords: Mozzarella, Salad, Tomatoes

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