An easy caprese salad with balsamic vinegar that tastes like summer. Healthy, keto and low carb, this is one of my favorite summer lunches.
Caprese salad (pronounced cah-preh-seh) is quick, fresh, and tastes like summer. It’s one of those super-simple dishes that are surprisingly delicious. Such a wonderful flavor combination!
Why is it called Caprese salad?
It’s called “Insalata Caprese” in Italian, which translates to “salad of Capri.” So it probably originated from the island of Capri.
Use the best ingredients
As always when it comes to simple recipes, the individual ingredients must be of high quality to make this simple salad as good as it can be.
So when you make caprese salad, make sure you use good olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. Choose kosher salt or sea salt rather than table salt. Pick fresh whole-milk mozzarella, as fresh as you can get.
Most importantly, use good tomatoes. Big, red and ripe but firm, not mealy, and definitely not refrigerated.
Can I use low-fat mozzarella?
I don’t recommend it. Low-fat mozzarella is not very tasty. And here it’s such an important part of the dish. If you worry about health, I’m happy to report that current research says that whole milk products are actually healthy.
Can I make caprese salad the night before?
It’s better not to. The whole thing can turn quite soggy overnight in the fridge. It’s a very easy recipe to make, so I don’t mind making it right before we plan on eating.
How to serve caprese salad?
Caprese salad is an Italian appetizer. Indeed, it is often served as an appetizer in restaurants. But at home, I either serve it as a side dish with dinner (it goes really well with oven chicken kabobs) or as a main course for lunch.
More salad recipes that you might enjoy
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 8 oz fresh whole-milk Mozzarella
- 16 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Using a sharp serrated knife, slice each tomato into 4 thick slices, discarding (or eating as you prep!) the edges.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the mozzarella into 16 thin rounds.
- Arrange the tomatoes on a platter or on individual plates. Top each tomato slice with a slice of mozzarella and with a basil leaf.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over the caprese salad.
- Sprinkle the caprese salad with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.