Caprese Salad, Another Way


Caprese Salad, Another Way


I love Caprese Salad, that beautiful combination of fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and salt. I’ve typically made it the classical way with sliced tomato, sliced fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves arranged on a platter then sprinkled lightly with salt and olive oil.


But for catering at the restaurant we often do as an appetizer small Caprese skewers, like mini-kebabs, of tomato and fresh mozzarella that was marinated briefly in a mixture of finely minced basil, olive oil and salt. Having some “pearl”-sized mozzarella balls leftover recently, I marinated them and then served them plattered and surrounded with my favorite tomatoes (other than tomatoes fresh from the garden at peak season), Campari. The result was a cheery appetizer as a starter for dinner. I think I like it even better than the classical presentation.


So as fresh basil from my garden is just getting underway, here’s my recent variant on Caprese Salad. The recipe makes enough for the starter course for a dinner for six.


12 medium-large fresh basil leaves, plus a small sprig for garnish

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls, ideally the small “pearl” size

6 Campari tomatoes, or other small sweet tomatoes (roughly 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups total)


Finely mince the basil leaves on a cutting board with a chef’s knife. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and add the olive oil and salt. Mix well. Add the mozzarella, individual pieces separated (or halved if larger variety) and mix carefully to evenly coat them.


Place the marinated mozzarella in the center of a serving dish. Cut the tomatoes into wedges, with the stem bit cut off, and arrange them around the mozzarella. Place the small basil sprig in the top of the pile of mozzarella, and serve.



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