Best Italian Caprese Salad

September 12, 2021

Use this Caprese salad recipe to make delectable tomato and mozzarella salad that is fresh, creamy, and ready in as little as fifteen minutes! A perfect salad recipe for the summer!

Who doesn't love Caprese salad? This classic Caprese salad recipe is as simple as tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic glaze.

The recipe is also as quick as it is simple and makes the perfect light but nutritionally balanced lunch when paired with grilled chicken, tofu, or shrimp.

Caprese SaladPhoto By Canva
Taste Score: %88
Difficulty Easy
Servings 4 people
Preparation 5 mins
Cooking 15 mins
Total 20 mins

Tips

  • Avoid using store-bought balsamic reduction for this Caprese salad recipe. It contains several unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients like sugar, glucose syrup, corn starch, dextrose, xanthan gum, and caramel coloring and is generally made with low-quality ingredients.
  • When making balsamic reduction at home, there's no need to buy expensive vinegar. A moderately-priced organic vinegar or balsamic vinegar from the Modena region will work just fine.
  • The sweetener is optional, as the balsamic vinegar becomes significantly sweeter when it is reduced. If you’ve already made your balsamic reduction without a sweetener and would like a sweeter version, add a tablespoon or two of honey or maple syrup to the vinegar before reducing it.
  • When reducing the balsamic vinegar, reduce it by either one-third or half, depending on how thick you want your balsamic glaze.
  • Balsamic reduction continues to thicken when it’s taken off the stove and allowed to cool. Keep this in mind when trying to reduce the sauce to your desired consistency.
  • If you accidentally overcook your balsamic reduction, and it thickens to the point of becoming hard instead of just viscous, thin it back down by reheating it with a little bit of water.
  • Transfer any leftover balsamic glaze to a sealed container and store it in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
  • To use this recipe to make Caprese salad with avocado, add slices of creamy ripe avocado in between the tomato and mozzarella slices.
  • Feel free to get creative and substitute the sliced tomatoes with any other in-season fruit like peaches, nectarines, and strawberries.
  • For a delicious Caprese salad dressing with honey, mix one tablespoon of honey with 3 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of salt and drizzle generously.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Start by making a balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze by adding one cup of balsamic vinegar with 1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup to a small pot.
  2. Heat the pot over the stove until the vinegar starts boiling, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer the vinegar for about 10 to 15 minutes until it thickens to form a sauce that can coat the back of the spoon.
  3. Remove the small pot from the heat and set it aside, storing any excess glaze in the fridge in a sealed container.
  4. Once your balsamic glaze is ready, start working on the salad. Add alternating slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella to a plate (with the mozzarella slice on top of the tomato slice) until all the available ingredients are used up.
  5. Add fresh basil leaves to the salad in between the alternating layers of tomato and mozzarella. Use whole small basil leaves or chopped-up pieces of larger leaves.
  6. Then drizzle your Caprese salad with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of the balsamic reduction prepared earlier, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Bon Appetit!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Caprese Salad
Serves 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories255
% Daily Value*
Protein 13 g26%
Total Fat 20 g25.6%
Cholesterol 45 mg15%
Sodium 360 mg15.7%
Potassium 262 mg5.6%
Potassium 262 mg5.6%
Potassium 262 mg5.6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

What is Caprese Salad?

A Caprese salad is a classic but simple Italian salad made with alternating slices of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, with bits of fresh basil in the middle. It is usually seasoned with salt, olive oil, honey vinaigrette, or balsamic glaze and is the perfect combination of crunchy and creamy.

As for its history, Caprese salad's first origin story dates back to the early 1920s. It is said that a patriotic Italian mason invented the dish as a tribute to the country after the First World War. The salad's popularity exploded in the 1950s, and soon Caprese salad became a dish loved all over the world.

Is Caprese Salad Keto?

Yes, absolutely. Since a keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that forces the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, low-carb but nutritious foods like salads made with non-starchy vegetables are ideal for those on a ketogenic diet.

This Caprese salad recipe, in particular, is also completely keto as it only uses three main ingredients (tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves), all of which are keto-friendly due to their low-carb content.

What Are the Best Tomatoes for Caprese Salad?

This Italian Caprese salad recipe is incredibly versatile, and almost any type of tomato (or other fruit) can be used based on personal preference and seasonal availability. Although cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, black tomatoes, and pear tomatoes seem to be particularly popular choices, closely followed by kumato tomatoes.

If you can't find any tomatoes specifically suited to making Caprese salad, you can also use Roma tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, Campari tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, or any other fresh tomatoes you can find.

What to Serve with Caprese Salad?

Caprese salad is nutritious and filling enough to be enjoyed alone as a light lunch, but it is ultimately a salad best enjoyed with a complimentary dish. Serve your Caprese salad recipe with red wine marinated steak, grilled flank steak, grilled chicken, beer brined balsamic glazed scallops, couscous, pasta, and crispy tofu to make the most out of this fresh dish.

You can also pair your Caprese salad with garlic bread, tortellini, salami, Hasselback potatoes, soup, etc. or enjoy it with a fruity, high acidity wine like Sauvignon Blanc, Fiano, Sancerre, Albariño, Falanghina, Rias Baixas, and Schramsberg Brut Rosé.

Here are some our delicious recipes that you can serve with Caprese Salad:

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