Salads

Classic Caprese Salad – Easy, Fresh & Delicious

The most famous Italian salad ever is of course, the classic caprese salad. It’s easy, fresh and delicious whether eaten as a side or light lunch this salad is the ultimate way to enjoy fresh, ripe summer tomatoes! 

Because you can’t have an Italian food blog without a caprese…

An overhead shot of a caprese salad with different coloured tomatoes and baby mozzarella

A classic caprese salad is so simple yet incredibly easy to get wrong. Like a lot of Italian cooking it’s made with very few ingredients, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and olive oil.

Ehh, so how can I get that wrong? It’s so easy!

True, but like I said, like a lot of Italian cooking the ingredients are so simple that they HAVE to be high quality and by that I mean the freshest and as locally sourced as possible.

Sourcing The Perfect Tomatoes

If you live in the UK, US or somewhere else far away from Italy there’s no point in trying to source Italian tomatoes. If I’ve learned anything living in Italy it’s that the good stuff tends to stay in Italy.. I mean why would they ship their very best tomatoes anywhere else?

The freshest, juiciest tomatoes are on your very own doorstep, grown locally! Go to farmer’s markets and find the very best you can. For the best Caprese Salad it’s SO worth it! Don’t settle for watery, tasteless tomatoes often found in supermarkets.

When tomatoes are your main ingredient they have to taste good.

What Cheese To Use?

The only cheese to use is mozzarella!

I like to use buffalo mozzarella. Again if you go for the cheapest mozzarella you can find it probably won’t be great. The amount of times I’ve bought mozzarella and it’s like a rubber ball, meh.

You can also use burrata which is a rich cream filled mozzarella (basically heaven) or bocconcini di mozzarella (baby ones). The baby ones can be a little harder to find but add a fun twist.

How To Make A Caprese Salad – Step By Step

Slice the tomatoes. I like to find different shapes, sizes and colours to make the salad more fun and vibrant.

Then slice the mozzarella in thick slices. I used a mixture of buffalo mozzarella and bocconcini di mozzarella, again it makes it more fun and exciting especially if you’re making it for a crowd!A collage image of different coloured tomatoes and slices of mozzarella for making a caprese salad

Arrange one or two slices of tomato then overlap with slices of mozzarella around the outside of a plate. Fill the inside with chopped cherry tomatoes and baby mozzarella. If you’re not using cherry tomatoes and baby mozzarella then continue in circles until you’ve covered the plate.

Finally scatter over freshly torn basil leaves and a good drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil, sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper.

To Balsamic Or Not To Balsamic?

A classic, authentic caprese salad has no balsamic vinegar, no vinegar of any kind goes near it.

To be honest it depends what you’re looking for or craving. I personally love the traditional caprese but I’m not going to shriek in horror at anyone who drizzles balsamic on top (go good quality, always). Food is meant to be fun and bring people together as well as being delicious…the food police certainly ain’t no fun.

Important Tips For Making A Classic Caprese Salad;

  • Use the highest quality buffalo mozzarella
  • Use the freshest, ripe locally grown tomatoes
  • Use a good quality olive oil
  • Use fresh basil
  • Step away from the balsamic vinegar (if going traditional)

A close up of a a classic caprese salad with different coloured tomatoes

If you’ve tried this Caprese Salad or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

5 from 6 votes
An overhead shot of a caprese salad with vibrant coloured tomatoes
Caprese Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 
The most famous Italian salad ever is of course, the classic caprese salad. It's easy, fresh and delicious whether eaten as a side or light lunch this salad is the ultimate way to enjoy fresh, ripe summer tomatoes! 
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: how to make a caprese salad, Mozzarella salad
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 407 kcal
Author: Emily Kemp
Ingredients
  • 2.2 lbs (1 kg) Fresh ripe tomatoes (I like to use a mixture of colours shaped and sizes)
  • 8.8 oz (250g/2 balls) Buffalo Mozzarella
  • 3.5 oz (100g) Bocconcini di mozzarella baby ones
  • 1 large handful Fresh Basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Slice the tomatoes. I like to find different shapes, sizes and colours to make the salad more fun and vibrant.
  2. Then slice the mozzarella in thick slices. I used a mixture of buffalo mozzarella and bocconcini di mozzarella, again it makes it a more fun and exciting especially if you're making it for a crowd!
  3. Arrange one or two slices of tomato then overlap with slices of mozzarella around the outside of a plate. Fill the inside with chopped cherry tomatoes and baby mozzarella. If you're not using cherry tomatoes and baby mozzarella then continue in circles until you've covered the plate.
  4. Finally scatter over freshly torn basil leaves and a good drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil, sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper.
Recipe Notes

Important Tips For Making A Classic Caprese Salad;

  • Use the highest quality buffalo mozzarella
  • Use the freshest, ripe locally grown tomatoes
  • Use a good quality olive oil
  • Use fresh basil
  • Step away from the balsamic vinegar

Sourcing The Perfect Tomatoes

If you live in the UK, US or somewhere else far away from Italy there's no point in trying to source Italian tomatoes. If I've learned anything living in Italy it's that the good stuff tends to stay in Italy.. I mean why would they ship their very best tomatoes anywhere else?

The freshest, juiciest tomatoes are on your very own doorstep, grown locally! Go to farmer's markets and find the very best you can. For the best Caprese Salad it's SO worth it! Don't settle for watery, tasteless tomatoes often found in supermarkets.

When tomatoes are your main ingredient they have to taste good.

What Cheese To Use?

The only cheese to use is mozzarella!

I like to use buffalo mozzarella. Again if you go for the cheapest mozzarella you can find it probably won't be great. The amount of times I've bought mozzarella and it's like a rubber ball, meh.

You can also use burrata which is a rich cream filled mozzarella (basically heaven) or bocconcini di mozzarella (baby ones). The baby ones can be a little harder to find but add a fun twist.

Nutrition Facts
Caprese Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 407 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 56mg 19%
Sodium 350mg 15%
Potassium 1460mg 42%
Total Carbohydrates 38g 13%
Dietary Fiber 19g 76%
Protein 25g 50%
Vitamin A 249%
Vitamin C 96.2%
Calcium 208.6%
Iron 71.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Annemarie
    July 13, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Oh my goodness, the colors! This looks irresistible.

  • Reply
    camila
    July 13, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    oh gosh your pics are beautiful!! seriously amazing!! And this delicious caprese is all I need in my life!

  • Reply
    Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites
    July 13, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    I love all the different tomatoes and the mozzarella balls! It makes this salad look so much more special and delicious!

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      July 13, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks Lauren, when I saw the tomatoes I knew I had to make a caprese with them…so pretty!

  • Reply
    Claudia Lamascolo
    July 13, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    This is certainly the prettiest caprese salad I have ever seen. Colorful and vibrant lovely post!

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    July 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Love a caprese salad – so delicious and easy too! Know what I am making for lunch this weekend now.

  • Reply
    Angelita
    July 9, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    OMG! I wish I was about to eat this right now!! I’m tomato shopping tomorrow! This is what good food should be all about..simple but delicious! Yum! Thanks!

  • Leave a Reply

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