Caprese Salad

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Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.

Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.
Caprese Salad

I don’t think there’s a better way to enjoy summer tomatoes, than with some fresh mozzarella and basil. An inspiration for so many dishes, like this main dish Chicken and Spiralized Zucchini Caprese, or this simple side dish White Bean Caprese, or this French Bread Pizza Caprese which is perfect for lunch.

Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.

Insalata Caprese is a dish from Naples, named after the island of Capri. It makes sense that this dish comes from Naples, since it is the capital city of mozzarella and also known for growing plump tomatoes, fragrant basil and producing some of the best olive oil. When I went to Naples and Capri this year, I ate it every chance I could. There is a belief the salad was created as a symbol of the Italian flag, with the red, the green and the white elements layered in turn on the plate.

Since this simple salad only requires a few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients make all the difference here. I’m lucky to have some really great homemade mozzarella available to me here in New York. If you have Italian markets in your area that make it fresh daily, I highly recommend going that route. Pastosa ravioli is literally down the block from me, it’s my go-to when I want homemade mozzarella. You can use store bought “homemade” mozzarella, but it’s just not the same.

Buying Fresh Mozzarella

I buy fresh mozzarella the day I need it to make this salad and leave it on the counter. It doesn’t taste the same after it has been refrigerated, it loses its milky characteristics. Leftovers get refrigerated, destined for pizza or other recipes.

Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.

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Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.
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Caprese Salad

3
3
3
SP
100 Cals 6.5 Protein 2 Carbs 7.5 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Appetizer, Salad
CUISINE: Italian
Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect end of summer appetizer or side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.

Ingredients

  • 1 large tomato, sliced into 8 slices
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 slices
  • 5-6 basil leaves, sliced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and fresh pepper

Instructions

  • Place sliced mozzarella on a large plate or platter.
  • Top with tomato, olive oil, balsamic, basil, salt and pepper.

Nutrition

Serving: 1oz cheese, 1 slice tomato, Calories: 100kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 6.5g, Fat: 7.5g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 22.5mg, Sodium: 180mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 0.5g
Blue Smart Points: 3
Green Smart Points: 3
Purple Smart Points: 3
Points +: 3
Keywords: Antipasto Salad, caprese salad, Insalata Caprese

Photo Credit: Jess Larson

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40 comments

  1. I like to use Balsamic Vinegar syrupy or boil Balsamic until it becomes syrup, be careful not to over cook! Add’s great flavor.

  2. This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  3. This is one of my all time favorite dishes!!! AND I have discovered a few really cool versions. Use cherry tomatoes (I eat lots of these in the summer) and cut them in half and then use low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese. Make sure to use FRESH basil, chiffonade, roll up and then slice into small strips. Cover with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and some Italian spices. Then you can add some sliced up deli turkey (nitrate-free) and almond slivers — complete meal. I like the smaller pieces better because you can taste everything much better.

    A second variation is one of my favs since I am from Baltimore, MD. I use small shrimp and/or lump crab meat and season it with Old Bay Seasoning and just add it the recipe as described above.

  4. What is the best way to drizzle the olive oil and balsamic onto the tomatoes? I tried pouring with my finger over the top but still had way too much pour out.

  5. I love caprese salad. I had the best one in Italy but these were very yummy too. Its hard for me not to eat more.

  6. Love this recipe Gina! One suggestion, I use balsamic glaze. They have it at most grocery stores on the olive oil isle. It gives it a stronger slightly sweeter taste then just balsamic vinegar. Thanks again for the recipe!

  7. Gina! What are the points plus on this one?

  8. Stumbled upon this blog post and I am going to check out some more of your recipes. This is so yummy, I am always looking for new veggie ideas for my "Meatless Monday's".

  9. Diane, you can but it's just not the same as homemade. Of course it's lighter so completely up to you.

    One Love – I would make a pasta dish like pasta and asparagus or pasta with roasted broccoli.

  10. I want to make this for a dinner party I'm having this weekend. What vegetarian dish would "go" with this as the main entree?

  11. Can you use the WW Mozzerella? It is only 1 point for 1 stick, you can slice it. Then you only have to count 2 points for olive oil and the amount of mozzerella you use.

  12. One of my favorite snacks or appetizers! It's so light and fresh, leaving room for the main course. The olive oil and balsamic make it so good for those who find tomatoes bland!

  13. Any idea how many Pointsplus this recipe would be?

  14. another thought Donna is to put the mozzarella in the freezer long enough to be a little hard and then pass it through the mandolin. I would think it may be too soft for the mandolin!?!!

  15. Great idea, I love my mandolin!

  16. About slicing the Mozzarella. You could use a mandolin. (spelling?) It's a slanted slicer made of plastic, with a sharp blade. I also use it to slice red onions really thin for salads. I think it would work on the cheese and you would then get thinner slices, and less calories and points.

  17. Love, love, love your blog! Please, keep up the great work! I just started WW, and I like "real" food. At the meetings, everybody talks about all these 1-point pre-processed bars, which I find very uninspiring. Your recipes are exactly what I was needing.

    If you're looking for a delicious salad similar to caprese but with zero points, I strongly recommend Marcella Hazan's garlic scented tomato salad. You can leave the olive oil out with little depreciation in taste, thereby making it zero points per serving.
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/GARLIC-SCENTED-TOMATO-SALAD-MARCELLA-HAZAN-50036820

  18. @Melissa- What about an egg slicer?

  19. Dang, I forgot to add that in a pinch I use the Daregal Frozen Basil. I just sprinkle it on and let it sit a for a minute until it thaws. Still has great fresh basil flavor and those little containers last forever. I also use it in your basil parmesan orzo recipe.

  20. If you want to cut the points, cut the mozzarella into 1/2 or 1/4. As long as I get a taste of the mozzarella with the tomato, I'm happy. As much as I love fresh mozzarella, 1/2 a slice is plenty. I wonder if there is a way to get paper thin slices of cheese by cutting with dental floss or something?

  21. Made these today and it will be perfect because I only have 3 points left to eat lol!

  22. What a nice, tasty, quick snack in the afternoons! Glad my friend told me about this blog. Lovin' it!

  23. I wish! 2.5 pts per stack (1 oz mozzerella)

  24. Are all eight slices one serving? or is it 2.5 pts for each stack?

  25. Thanks Tammy! Yes, lots a friendly low carb meals here!!

  26. I am loving your website too, I am doing a high protein-vegetable-fruit way of eating and i am finding tons of recipes here that work for me! Thank you so much!

  27. I am loving everything I read on here and have such great luck with everything I try. Thanks so much Gina for all these recipes. You have made my weight loss journey so much more enjoyable!

  28. @lencurrie – yes, 2.5 each so don't eat the whole thing!! It's a nice starter dish to a light summer meal. Worth saving your bonus points for!

  29. This is a favorite of mine, but just a question.. 2.5 pts each? hmmm.. so I'm guessing you won't have more than 2 or 3 of them at once. Darnit!

  30. Hi Gina,

    Wow, this is my favourite salad, so simple but so tasty! I love the combination of basil and tomato.

    Big Hug!

  31. Hi Denise, so glad you like the zucchini soup, that's a favorite in my house, even my daughter loves it!

  32. Just found your great blog today… I have a ton of zucchini from the garden so thought I would give your soup a try…OMG! is it ever good 🙂 I took some to my neighbor next door and her 6 yr old scoffed the bowl down, I now have my second batch on the stove cooking.
    I love your site and have just started WW (I don't have a lot to lose but still wanted to try and stick with their points program.. your recipes are great for this and there are many more of them I want to try. Oh, and I have the meat sauce on the stove as I type… my home grown spaghetti squash just came out of the oven.

  33. @ Christine, no problem, just make sure you use fresh mozzarella, not packaged like polly-o. It won't taste the same.

  34. I've had these before at a friend's house and always wanted to know how to make them. They are so delicious and the perfect appetizer for any meal. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

  35. @Patsyk Cute idea!

  36. I made something like this last week, only the tomatoes were turned into "cups" to hold the ingredients. The flavors are classic and always perfect for summer.

  37. I eat this several times a week. I can get more slices than 8 out of an 8oz ball of mozz, cutting the calories per serving. And recent research shows you need a little oil to get the antioxidant goodness out of the tomatoes, so I no longer feel guilty about the teaspoon of olive oil!

  38. I absolutely LOVE these! And when you make them with Jersey tomatoes OMG – one of the few things Jersey does right – paired with a good balsamic vinegar. LOVE IT.

  39. Sounds so good!

  40. This is one of my all time favorites. It doesnt get better than taht.