To prepare the classic Caprese salad with perfection, learn about its history and traditional ingredients. To get started, we introduce you to the Classic Caprese Salad, along with the key ingredients that give it its signature flavours.
What to Serve With Caprese Salad
A Classic Caprese Salad is an Italian classic, now popular the world over! This salad is made with fresh mozzarella cheese, ripe tomatoes and basil leaves. Dress it up with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a burst of flavour.
For a true Italian experience, make sure to use the best ingredients. Ripe tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese are essential. For an extra colourful touch, use heirloom tomatoes.
Want to add even more flavour? Try adding some thinly sliced prosciutto over the top of your Classic Caprese salad before serving. Get set to say ‘Cheese!’ with these few, simple ingredients – all you need now is an Italian accent!
Ingredients for Classic Caprese Salad
Bringing Italy’s flavours and colours to our plates is the classic Caprese Salad. This delicacy offers a perfect mix of fresh, vibrant, and flavour-packed ingredients! Such as:
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- Juicy vine-ripened tomatoes
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- High-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar glaze
To make it even yummier, you can use heirloom tomatoes or switch mozzarella cheese for burrata. Caprese Salad was named after the island of Capri in Italy, and has been enjoyed since the 1900s.
Want to tantalise your taste buds with a twist? Try these variations!
Variations to the Classic Caprese Salad
To add a twist to your traditional caprese salad, try different variations for a unique take on this classic dish. With “Fruit Variations,” “Protein Variations,” and “Vegetable Variations” as solutions, the possibilities are endless.
Make a fruity twist on the classic Caprese salad! Adding pomegranate seeds, figs, strawberries, or oranges to the recipe of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves creates a delicious blend of sweet and savoury flavours with extra health benefits.
Be mindful of the texture of fruits when mixing them with the Caprese salad’s crunchiness. Pair fruits that complement each other in taste and texture for the best results!
Originating from the island of Capri in Italy, the original Caprese salad was made with natural ingredients like tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Its tricolor of red tomatoes, white cheese, and green basil leaves resembled Italy’s national flag.
Try the Peach Caprese Salad for a perfect match of fruit and cheese!
Peach Caprese Salad
For a twist on the classic Caprese salad, try this Peach and Mozzarella version! It’s bursting with freshness! Start with thinly sliced mozzarella, ripe peaches, and fresh basil leaves. Add a balsamic glaze dressing to bring out the sweetness of the peaches.
This summery salad is perfect for intimate gatherings or summer nights. The original Caprese salad recipe from Southern Italy only had basil, olive oil, buffalo mozzarella, and tomatoes. But the delicious dish spread throughout Italy, and soon variations like this Peach Caprese Salad emerged. Treat yourself to a taste of summer with this watermelon caprese salad!
Watermelon Caprese Salad
Switch up your classic Caprese Salad with a refreshing Watermelon Caprese! This summery twist features juicy watermelon cubes, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves. To enhance the flavours, you can add a balsamic glaze or reduction. It’s perfect for parties or barbecues! You could even sprinkle chopped almonds or pistachios on top for added texture. However, be mindful that watermelon can release excess moisture, so it’s best served immediately after preparing.
Plus, research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reveals that watermelon contains citrulline – a natural compound that can reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Feeling like you need a vacation? Make a Mango Caprese Salad for a tropical twist!
Mango Caprese Salad
Introducing the Mango Infused Caprese Salad – a refreshing twist on the classic.
Substitute tomatoes with sweet, juicy mangoes. Fresh mozzarella and basil leaves remain essential ingredients.
Lime juice and cilantro add a tangy kick, perfect for summer. This variation offers a unique flavour that stands out.
A balance of sweet and tangy that will leave you wanting more. Don’t miss the chance to try this new twist.
Vibrant colours and bold flavours make it a crowd-pleaser. Beef up your salad by adding steak, chicken, or tofu.
Seeking different proteins for your Caprese Salad? Try meat, fish, and vegetarian options! Examples include: grilled chicken breast, smoked salmon, and tofu cubes. Seared shrimp, steak strips, and boiled eggs can also work.
Not just proteins! Spice up the classic with heirloom tomatoes, avocado slices, pesto sauce, croutons, or nuts. Someone at a summer picnic added a twist by layering prosciutto, tomatoes, and mozzarella, then drizzling balsamic glaze. Delicious! Why not try a Chicken Caprese Salad and make it clucking good?
Chicken Caprese Salad
Treat yourself to the heavenly ‘Chicken Mozzarella Salad’ – a twist on the classic Caprese Salad. Grill chicken breasts with oregano and pepper, slice fresh mozzarella and juicy tomatoes, and assemble with basil leaves on greens dressed in balsamic vinaigrette.
This salad is perfect for anyone who wants a healthy and satisfying lunch or dinner alternative, plus it’s great for those following a low-carb or keto diet.
Pro Tip: Marinate the chicken in lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic to boost the flavors. Or, upgrade your Caprese game with shrimp for something extra special.
Shrimp Caprese Salad
Succulent shrimp add a delightful twist to the classic Caprese Salad. Five points to make it:
- Cherry tomatoes cut in halves, with grilled shrimp on top.
- Buffalo mozzarella crumbled coarsely over the salad.
- Basil pesto sauce drizzled over.
- Balsamic glaze for sweet and sour notes.
- Leafy greens like kale or spinach for a nutritional boost.
This version brings protein and a zingy flavour. It’s trend-worthy among seafood-lovers!
Once at lunch, my colleagues ordered this Shrimp Caprese Salad. Each component balanced beautifully, enhancing taste and texture. Why settle for regular Caprese Salad when you can add steak and make it carnivorous?
Steak Caprese Salad
Give Caprese Salad an upgrade with steak! Perfect for a light lunch or dinner, it’s both tasty and nutritious.
- Cook a juicy tenderloin steak to your liking.
- Mix together slices of cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and buffalo mozzarella.
- Lay the warm steak slices on top of the salad.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar or dressing over it and season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with extra basil leaves before serving.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
This Steak Caprese Salad is a fun twist on the traditional recipe. With a protein-rich addition, it’s ideal for fitness fans.
Pro Tip: Let the steak rest before slicing to ensure tenderness. For those seeking something more exciting than just mozzarella and tomato, try adding some veggies to your dish for a cha-cha of flavours.
Plant-Based Twists to the Classic Caprese Salad!
Explore some exciting adaptations of this classic. Cater to vegans, vegetarians and veggie-lovers.
- Swap mozzarella for vegan options like tofu or cashew cream
- Roast or grill veggies like eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and artichokes
- Vary tomatoes. Use heirloom or cherry tomatoes in different colours and sizes
- Use leafy greens like arugula, spinach or kale instead of basil leaves
- Include fruit variations. Slice peaches, strawberries or figs for a sweet-savoury combo
Spice up the flavour with Kumato or Green Zebra tomatoes. FTOH Impact Team’s study showed that having plant-based meals twice a week boosts overall health.
Top off the classic Caprese with an avocado and make everyone else green with envy!
Avocado Caprese Salad
Slice ripe avocados and tomatoes into equal rounds. Arrange on a plate, alternating between tomato, avocado, and mozzarella slices. Drizzle with quality extra virgin olive oil. Add basil leaves for garnish. Sprinkle salt and pepper to bring out the flavours.
For more texture, add pine nuts or almonds. Serve as a light lunch or dinner party appetiser.
For a heartier version, top with grilled chicken breast or shrimp.
Experience the delicious Avocado Caprese Salad today! It provides an effortless yet sophisticated twist on a classic favourite. Roast up some veggies and enjoy a unique Caprese salad.
Roasted Vegetable Caprese Salad
Take the classic Caprese Salad to the next level! Roast veggies like eggplant and bell peppers, plus the traditional tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Add a balsamic vinegar dressing for extra flavour. Enjoy the smoky taste and extra nutrients. Serve warm or cold – it’s up to you! Perfect for those looking for a heartier version.
Delight your guests with a savoury and fresh roasted veggie Caprese salad. Lower calorie intake and boost nutrients with this Greek twist. No passport required – take your taste buds on a Mediterranean vacation!
Greek Caprese Salad
For a Greek twist on the classic Caprese salad, try our Greek Caprese Salad. A refreshing dish that will tantalise your taste buds and wow your guests!
Instead of mozzarella, use feta cheese for a salty kick. Cherry tomatoes in lieu of slices, and red onions for some spice. Swap out basil leaves for Kalamata olives and a sprinkle of dried oregano for an authentic flavour.
And don’t forget the dressing – a light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Served with grilled pita bread or shrimp skewers, this is a noteworthy addition to any summer gathering or light lunch option.
Fun fact: Greek mythology tells us that feta cheese was created by accident when a farmer stored his excess sheep’s milk in his own stomach.
Forget the side dishes, just give me a bowl of balsamic vinegar and a spoon!
Side Dishes to Serve with Caprese Salad
To make your Caprese salad stand out, you’ll need some side dishes that complement its light and refreshing flavours. Bread options, pasta options, and appetisers can be the perfect accompaniments for your salad. In this section on “Side dishes to serve with Caprese Salad”, we have covered the best options to go with your salad. We’ll discuss benefits and make the best recommendations for each sub-section.
Pairing up bread with Caprese salad can elevate its taste. Here are some options!
- French Baguette: Thin and crunchy outside, chewy inside. Slice it and pair with Caprese.
- Focaccia Bread: Italian flatbread made with olive oil and herb toppings. Fluffy texture and yummy herbs – perfect for tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
- Ciabatta Bread: Rustic Italian bread with crunchy crust and soft interior. Delicious with juicy tomatoes in the salad.
- Garlic Bread: Traditional and simple – toasted baguette brushed with garlic butter.
Whole-grain and sourdough breads are also great for healthy options.
Consider the main course if served together. Garlic bread is best with rich pasta dishes, as both have distinct flavours that complement each other.
Focaccia dipped in balsamic vinegar glaze is heavenly with Caprese salad. Ciabatta rolls make mini sandwiches too. Homemade croutons are a crunchy alternative! Garlic bread? Worth it for the garlic breath!
Garlic Bread – A Delicious Crispy Companion for Caprese Salad!
Delight in Garlic Bread with your Caprese Salad! Its aroma and taste will make you crave more. Here are four points to consider:
- Toast the bread well to avoid sogginess
- Spice it up with garlic butter and seasoning
- Try different types of bread like sourdough or ciabatta
- Top off with melted mozzarella for a truly exquisite experience
For a unique twist, add herbs like rosemary or parsley. Enjoy this tasty combo – prepare Garlic Bread and relish its flavoursome richness! Spice up your meal with focaccia bread as a side.
Focaccia Bread, an Italian flatbread, is a great accompaniment to Caprese Salad. Its light and fluffy texture pairs well with the fresh ingredients of the salad.
- All-purpose Flour – 2 cups
- Active Dry Yeast – 1 package (2 ¼ tsp)
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Olive Oil – ⅓ cup + extra for brushing and drizzling on top
Endless varieties of Focaccia bread exist, including Rosemary & Olive oil versions. Its crusty exterior adds a crunchy element to the dish. Try adding sun-dried tomatoes or caramelized onions on top to enhance flavor. Brush olive oil before baking for a golden brown appearance. It’s a carb lover’s dream come true – warm, crusty ciabatta bread with Caprese Salad!
Ciabatta Bread – The Perfect Match for Caprese Salad!
A delicious side to any meal is ciabatta bread, especially when served with a Caprese salad. Here’s why it should be your go-to:
- The light and airy texture pairs perfectly with the juicy tomatoes and cheese.
- A crisp outer layer contrasts the chewy interior.
- Ciabatta bread’s subtle flavour won’t overpower the salad.
- Grill or toast it for added flavour and texture.
- It’s a filling side dish and adds carbs.
What makes ciabatta bread unique is its shape and texture. ‘Ciabatta’ means ‘slipper’ in Italian – it’s flat and broad. The dough is fermented for a long time, forming air pockets.
Legend has it that ciabatta bread was created in Lake Como in the 1980s, inspired by French baguettes but with an Italian twist. Now it’s a staple in Italian cuisine and is popular worldwide.
Balance your caprese with some carbs – tomatoes and cheese followed by a carb coma! Ciabatta bread is the perfect way to do it.
Looking for delicious pairings with Caprese salad? Try ‘Pasta Options!’ Adding pasta to sides can bring out the flavours and textures of classic Caprese salads. Check out some fantastic options in the table below.
Penne Pasta Salad
A yummy side-dish that pairs perfectly with Caprese salad? Penne pasta salad! Tender pasta, herbs, and veggies make for a fulfilling yet refreshing dish.
- Mix cooked penne pasta with cherry tomatoes, chopped red onions, and basil leaves for a classic flavour.
- Sprinkle feta cheese and olives for a Mediterranean twist.
- Creamy-lovers can combine penne noodles, cucumber, dill weed, and sour cream dressing.
Vegetarians and vegans rejoice! This penne pasta salad is nutritious and delicious. For some extra protein, mix in grilled chicken or shrimp.
For an extra-special touch, drizzle balsamic glaze over the salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature to bring out the best taste of Caprese Salad. And remember: who needs a partner when you have pesto pasta salad?
Pesto Pasta Salad
Pesto Pasta – The ideal sidekick to Caprese salad. Here’s how to make it special:
- Add sun-dried tomatoes or roasted vegetables, like eggplant or zucchini.
- Use toasted pine nuts instead of walnuts.
- Substitute fresh basil with arugula.
Surprise your guests with this Italian side dish. Did you know it was created in Genoa, Italy? It only had crushed garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil.
My sister served Caprese salad and Pesto pasta at last year’s family reunion. I didn’t have high hopes… But when I tasted it, I couldn’t help but say “Mamma Mia!” It was so delicious, I had to have seconds!
Orzo pasta salad: A healthier way to pretend.
Orzo Pasta Salad
Orzo Pasta Salad is an amazing side dish that goes great with Caprese Salad. It’s made of orzo, which looks like rice. This salad contains different vegetables, spices and oils.
Here are the 4 key points about Orzo Pasta Salad:
- It has pasta, chopped vegetables, seasonings and dressing.
- Ingredients can be changed to suit dietary needs.
- It’s easy to make, ideal for entertaining or when you need a side dish.
- It can be stored in the fridge for a day and still taste great.
Plus, its taste and texture can be altered by pairing it with different meats and accompaniments.
This tasty dish comes from Italy, even though its name is Greek. It was originally called “kritharaki” or “little barley”, but it was later changed to ‘orzo’ as it looks like rice grains. Why just have a Caprese salad when you can enjoy a variety of flavours with these scrumptious appetisers?
Appetisers to Accompany Caprese Salad
Caprese Salad – what a treat! To make the experience even better, consider serving some side dishes. Fresh bread, an antipasto platter, bruschetta – all great options to accompany this Italian dish.
Grill some veggies and experiment with dressings like balsamic glaze or pesto for a unique twist.
Be it for guests or just yourself – don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy a satisfying meal with delicious and complementary appetisers.
Bruschetta – an Italian classic! It’s the perfect accompaniment to Caprese Salad’s freshness and flavour. Here’s how to make it extra special:
- Toast bread slices and drizzle with olive oil, rub garlic, and sprinkle salt.
- Top with diced tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella cheese.
- Get creative – add balsamic vinegar reduction, Parmesan cheese shavings, or prosciutto slices.
- Serve it fresh and warm – it gets soggier with time.
For a unique twist, try baguettes instead of bread slices, or strawberries instead of tomatoes. This creative change brings the classic combo to a whole new level. Once, an Italian family tried out a recipe with Pesto sauce instead of tomato mixture – it was a hit! Why not skewer your antipasti like a pro?
Antipasti Skewers – An Irresistible Treat for Your Taste Buds!
Satisfy your cravings with these tasty antipasto skewers. They’re typically made from Italian meats and cheese such as cured meat slices, ham, pepperoni, salami, mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, olives, and basil leaves.
These skewers are sure to make a statement at any event or gathering with their vibrant colours and textures. Plus, you can add balsamic glaze or an olive oil-based marinade to amp up the flavour.
You can serve them as an appetiser on their own or alongside Caprese Salad for a complete Italian experience. And if you’re running short on time, no worries! They’re easy to prepare.
Elevate the presentation with a colourful selection of veggies and meats to show off your culinary creativity. Don’t miss out on the chance to indulge in these lip-smacking antipasto skewers with Caprese salad. Your taste buds will thank you! Why settle for just caprese salad when you can stuff your face with these delectable cheesy mushrooms?
Stuffed mushrooms are an awesome addition to Caprese salad! Here’s why:
- They offer a warm feeling that contrasts the crispy texture of the salad.
- The filling could be cheese, bacon, breadcrumbs, herbs… so many flavours!
- Their flavour blends with most dressings, making the salad even tastier.
- Mushrooms are a perfect size and shape for serving.
- And they’re quick and easy to make in large quantities.
Want to take it to the next level? Add truffle oil to your stuffing. It adds richness without changing the taste. Go for a healthier option too, like quinoa or spicy black beans.