It’s not summer unless you make an Italian Caprese Salad. Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil never tasted so good. The perfect appetizer or main dish.
Once I get my hands on some fresh tomatoes the first thing I make is a Caprese Salad. Fast and easy and so delicious. That is one of the best things about Summer, all the fresh ingredients. From Veggies to Fruits.
I have to admit it’s probably the only thing I like about Summer. I don’t like the heat or the mosquitoes but a Cold Pasta Salad or a No Bake Dessert can sure help me survive!
A Caprese salad is originally from Capri, which is located in the Southern Region of Campania, from which it takes its name. It can be served both as an appetizer and as a main dish, buffalo mozzarella is what is usually used although regular fresh mozzarella is fine too.
To make this dish, high quality ingredients are a must. It is a simple, light and healthy summer dish.
Ingredients in a Classic Caprese Salad
- Firm but ripe tomatoes
- Very fresh Mozzarella
- Fresh Basil
- Olive Oil
- and a little oregano.
I used grape tomatoes in this Caprese Salad Recipe, but you could also use cherry tomatoes or even round ripe firm tomatoes.
If you want the best presentation, try to purchase tomatoes close to the same size as the fresh mozzarella, and slice the round tomatoes and the mozzarella the same thickness (or as close as you can get).
Definitely not, no mayonnaise, vinegar, olives, eggs or sauces of any kind, not even pesto. These extras will cover the balanced taste of the mozzarella and the tomatoes.
But I have to admit it a drizzle of balsamic vinegar does taste pretty good!
How to Store a Caprese Salad
A Caprese Salad is one of those recipes that should be eaten immediately, but if you do have a little leftover, cover it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for no more than two days.
Tips for making the Best Caprese Salad
- The mozzarella and tomatoes should be at room temperature, so remove both from the refrigerator one hour before preparing.
- Towel dry the mozzarella before plating, and the large tomato slices if they are really moist.
- Be sure to salt only the tomatoes and not the mozzarella.
- Add the fresh basil just before serving.
More Fresh Tomato Recipes
Fresh Tomatoes & Sausage Pasta
Pesto Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes & Mozzarella
Easy Italian Fresh Tomato Cheese Pie
So if you are looking for something fresh and light this Summer Season, I hope you give a Classic Italian Caprese a try and let me know how you like it. Buon Appetito!
Classic Italian Caprese Salad Recipe
- 1-2 medium-large fresh Mozzarella (or buffalo mozzarella)
- 2 large firm ripe tomatoes (or 20-25 cherry or grape tomatoes)
- 2-3 pinches salt
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 5-10 fresh basil leaves
- Remove the tomatoes and the mozzarella from the fridge one hour before preparing.
- Slice the mozzarella and drain in a sieve or gently dry with a paper towel, then place spread out on a large plate.
- If using large tomatoes then slice and paper towel dry if extra moist. If using grape or cherry tomatoes then slice in half. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and toss with salt, oregano and olive oil. Spoon the tomato mixture over the mozzarella and top with fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Updated from June 10, 2019.
This Caprise Salad is perfecto & delicioso. We make it several times a week, with the huge tomatoes from our garden. I’ve also used Heirloom tomatoes, and it tasted amazing. Of course, there’s plenty of Basil growing in our garden, as well. This simple salad is our favorite. (I have sometimes lightly drizzled it with reduced Balsamic, which also gave it a terrific pop of flavor….shhhhh).
Hi Angelina, thanks so much, glad you like it, and yes my husband also adds a drizzle of Balsamic. Take care.
Tom Glass says
Another version hot caprese salad cut tomatoes in 1/2 inch thick roast in 400 degree oven until roasted top with mozzarella cheese slices melt a little pull out top with fresh chopped basil serve with rustic bread and olive oil and balsamic for dipping.