Are you looking for ways to use your fresh garden tomatoes this year? Wait until you see how easy this recipe for caprese salad is to make!

One of the best parts about growing a vegetable garden is harvesting homegrown tomatoes.

They taste so much better than the ones from the market.

Do you grow tomatoes in your garden too?

I’m always looking for ways to use my homegrown tomatoes and fresh garden basil. And one of the easiest recipes I love to make is Caprese salad.

Caprese salad is one of the most simple yet delicious salads that you can make. With just a few fresh ingredients, you can have a healthy and flavorful salad that is perfect for any occasion.

But even if you don’t have an herb and vegetable garden, you will love this recipe for Caprese salad!

Wait until you see how simple it is to make too!

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About Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is a traditional Italian dish that originates from the island of Capri, off the coast of Naples in southern Italy. The salad is named after the island and has been a popular dish in Italian cuisine for many years. And is now enjoyed by people all over the world.

Its popularity can be attributed to its simple yet delicious combination of fresh ingredients, which perfectly captures the flavors of the Mediterranean.

Today, Caprese salad is often served as an appetizer or side dish in Italian restaurants, and it is a popular option for people who are looking for a healthy and refreshing salad.

holding fresh tomatoes from the vegetable garden -freezing tomatoes

How to Make the Best Recipe for Caprese Salad

The key to making a great Caprese salad is using fresh, high-quality ingredients. Look for ripe, juicy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese that is soft and creamy. Use fresh basil leaves rather than dried ones, as this will give the salad a bright, herbaceous flavor.

So using the freshest ingredients is best if you can find them. As much as I make this dish year-round, I make it more often during summer because fresh tomatoes are readily available.

Whether you purchase from the farmer’s market or grow them at home, there’s nothing quite like a fresh tomato. I love making salsas with them. And I enjoy making Sunday sauce with them too.

Someday, I’d like to be better about canning them. But my all-time favorite thing to make is caprese salad.

It’s so quick and easy to make. Plus it is SO GOOD!

This recipe for caprese salad is one of my favorite go-to summer dishes because I have lots of tomatoes and fresh basil growing in the garden, and I always keep fresh mozzarella on hand.

The Best Recipe for Caprese Salad made with thin slices of tomato and mozzarella cheese on white plate

Variations of Caprese Salad

There are a few different ways to play around with this recipe for caprese salad.

If you want to get creative with your caprese salad, you can also add other ingredients like balsamic vinegar, roasted red peppers, or even sliced avocado.

You can also use different varieties of tomatoes, such as heirloom or cherry tomatoes, to add more color and flavor to the salad.

The Best Recipe for Caprese Salad - mixing balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and extra virgin olive oil in salad dressing mixer

I prefer spiraling it with sliced fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, but using cherry tomatoes and cigliene mozzarella works just as well.

You can easily toss this dish over a salad. And sometimes, I grill or bake chicken breast and top it off with caprese salad.

And if I’m really feeling ambitious, I’ll make a balsamic glaze instead of the dressing (see notes in the recipe). Wait until you try it!

By the way, if you don’t have THIS salad dressing shaker, trust me, you need it! It’s so easy to dump all the ingredients in and give it a quick shake before drizzling it on a salad.

Plus, I love tripling salad dressings so I can store the leftovers in the refrigerator.

The Best Recipe for Caprese Salad - drizzing the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic over the mozzarella and tomato slices

What are the Best Tomatoes to Use in a Caprese Salad?

The best tomatoes to use in a Caprese salad are ripe, juicy, and flavorful tomatoes. It’s one of the reasons I recommend harvesting from the garden or local farmers’ market to get the best flavor.

There are several types of tomatoes that can be used in a Caprese salad though, but the most commonly used are:

  • Roma tomatoes: These tomatoes are firm and have a low water content, making them ideal for slicing and layering in a Caprese salad. They are also slightly sweet and have a rich, tomato flavor.
  • Beefsteak tomatoes. These large, meaty tomatoes are perfect for a Caprese salad, as they are juicy and flavorful. They are often used in traditional Italian cuisine, and they are great for slicing and layering.
  • Cherry tomatoes: These small, sweet tomatoes are a popular option for Caprese salads, as they add a burst of flavor and color to the dish. They are great on a toothpick with ciliegine mozzarella and basil.

Regardless of the type of tomato you use, it’s important to choose ripe, flavorful tomatoes that are in season. This will ensure that your Caprese salad is bursting with flavor and freshness.

This doesn’t mean you can’t make it out of season because you can. It won’t have the same ripe, juicy flavor as when it is in season and picked fresh.

Roma Tomatoes on the plant in the vegetable garden
Roma Tomatoes in my garden

Can You Use Balsamic Glaze on Caprese Salad?

Yes, balsamic glaze can be used on Caprese salad as a flavorful addition. Balsamic glaze is a thick, syrupy reduction of balsamic vinegar that is often used as a drizzle or sauce to add flavor and complexity to a dish.

When using balsamic glaze on Caprese salad, it is best to use a small amount to avoid overpowering the other flavors in the dish. You can drizzle it over the salad just before serving, or you can serve it on the side for people to add as desired.

Another option is to use a balsamic reduction or a high-quality balsamic vinegar instead of balsamic glaze. This will provide a similar flavor profile without the added sweetness and thickness of the glaze.

Overall, using balsamic glaze on Caprese salad is a great way to add a burst of flavor and sweetness to the dish, but it’s important to use it in moderation to avoid overpowering the other flavors in the salad.

layering tomatoes and mozzarella to make the best recipe for caprese salad on a white serving platter

How to Make the Best Recipe for Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to make. It’s perfect for a quick lunch or a light dinner, and it’s a great option for when you want something fresh and healthy but don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

Ingredients for Caprese Salad

It’s easy to keep the ingredients on hand, particularly if you have an herb or vegetable garden. But even if you don’t, the ingredients are minimal and simple to pick up from the market.

Here’s what you need.

  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • fresh mozzarella
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • garlic
  • salt and pepper
adding pepper to caprese salad recipe on white serving platter

How to Make This Caprese Salad Recipe

To make a classic caprese salad, all you need is fresh mozzarella cheese, ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Start by slicing the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into even slices, and then layer them on a plate or platter, alternating between the two.

Next, take your fresh basil leaves and arrange them on top of the cheese and tomatoes. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

And that’s it! Super easy right?

close up of the best recipe for caprese salad
Caprese salad with balsamic glaze
Close Up of The Best Recipe for Caprese Salad

The Best Recipe for Caprese Salad

Stacy Ling
Are you looking for ways to use fresh tomatoes and basil? Wait until you try this recipe for the caprese salad.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 239 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Slice both the fresh mozzarella and tomatoes thin (roughly the same size).
    slicing tomatoes and mozzarella thin to make the best caprese salad recipe
  • Mince garlic.
  • Combine extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.
    The Best Recipe for Caprese Salad - mixing balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and extra virgin olive oil in salad dressing mixer
  • Mix well.
  • Layer mozzarella and tomato slices
    layering tomatoes and mozzarella slices to make caprese salad on white serving platter
  • Drizzle with dressing
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Top with thin sliced basil.
    Close Up of The Best Recipe for Caprese Salad

Notes

• You can swap out cigliene mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes
• Consider doubling or tripling the dressing to save for another dish.
• If you prefer a balsamic glaze to a dressing, heat 2 cups of balsamic vinegar of medium heat until it reduces and gets thick but can still be poured.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gramsCalories: 239kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 13gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 363mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 639IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 291mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Basil Recipes, Caprese Salad, Recipe for Caprese Salad, Tomato Recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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close up of the best recipe for caprese salad
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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. Pingback: Dirt Road Adventures - Dog Days of Summer - The Ponds Farmhouse
  2. 4 stars
    I do this recipe quite often since we live in the best agricultural area for beautiful, meaty, large tomatoes. I grow our own basil. And olive are grown in abundance around here. And many produce some of BEST Balsamic Vinegar too.
    I do add to this recipe some finely chopped red Stockton Sweet onions scattered on top. They are delicious & add to the overall taste of the Caprese.

  3. This looks so good Stacy! I just love a good caprese salad and especially with tomatoes and basil from my own garden.

  4. 5 stars
    I can’t wait for fresh garden tomatoes & basil to make this! By this time of the year I can’t take the lousy grocery store tomatoes much longer!!