Caprese salad is one of the easiest and most delicious salads, appetizers, starters or first courses ever simply because the ingredients do most of the work for you. Good quality ingredients = amazing caprese salad. The rest is just assembly and making it look pretty.
I serve caprese salad often for parties or small get togethers because it’s simple to throw together, can be served at room temperature, and almost everyone loves it. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like caprese salad and I’m not sure I want to.
Also, it’s pretty.
I’m not sure my caprese salad even constitutes as a recipe because it’s so simple. Like I said, the ingredients do most of the work. I buy the freshest mozzarella I can find, heirloom or good quality, ripe tomatoes and fresh basil. If you have those three ingredients, your caprese salad will turn out great.
There are lots of ways to assemble a caprese salad and I’m sure there are plenty of twists on the classic recipe but this is how I make mine:
Easy caprese salad
2 “logs” of fresh mozzarella
3-4 large heirloom tomatoes (or any good, quality tomatoes. Look for vine-ripened ones in season)
10 leaves of fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1. Start by slicing the mozzarella and tomatoes into 1/3 inch slices.
2. Choose a pretty platter to arrange the salad on. Lay a slice of tomato on the platter and then a slice of mozzarella on top (like the picture at the top). Continue this pattern until you’ve filled the platter.
3. Stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll them up lengthwise. Cut the roll of basil into thin strips with a knife, aka a basil chiffonade. This creates fun confetti like strips of basil.
4. Sprinkle the basil over the mozzarella and tomato.
5. Mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together and drizzle it over the salad. You may not need to use the whole amount. Just make sure you get a good drizzle over the entire salad.
6. Sprinkle the salad with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Voila! Pretty, simple and so, so yummy.