Caprese Salad

A white serving platter filled with Caprese salad made with sliced tomatoes, sliced mozzarella, and fresh basil with a serving spoon resting inside.

Every summer we take a family vacation sailing around the Mediterranean for a couple of weeks, and inevitably, we visit the incredibly beautiful island of Capri, in the Bay of Napoli. The people of Capri have co-opted the classic tri-colore combination of tomato, mozzarella, and basil and called it their own—if these three ingredients define a salad, it’s called Caprese salad. Lucky for them.–Giada De Laurentiis

LC What Folks Are Saying About This Recipe Note

“Summer written all over it.” That’s what folks are saying about this recipe. We concur.

Caprese Salad

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 4 first-course servings
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Ingredients

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Directions

Whisk the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend.

Cut the regular tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices and the plum tomatoes into wedges. Cut the cherry, grape, and teardrop tomatoes in half.

Arrange the tomatoes and cheese on a platter. Drizzle the dressing over. Sprinkle with basil and additional salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

This recipe has summer written all over it. I used a variety of heirloom tomatoes, fresh from a local garden. As suggested, I used various sizes, colors, and types. I was also fortunate to get some really good mozzarella, made at a local store. This recipe shines if you use the best ingredients you can find. It makes a perfect start to a meal or a nice light lunch. I’ll be making this again while we’re getting such good tomatoes and basil straight from the garden.

This is the best way I can think of to use fresh garden tomatoes. It's a classic recipe for a reason. It's simply perfect. I cannot think of a way to improve it. Our garden produced several kinds of tomatoes, including the beautiful green zebra, large red, and cherry tomatoes which looked beautiful on the white plate. Rather than just simply drizzling olive oil over these ripe and juicy tomatoes, this recipe incorporates lemon juice to create a vinaigrette. The crowning touch is, of course, fresh basil and mozzarella. We cannot find buffalo mozzarella here so we used bocconcini. This version is one of the best ever. Simply put, make this. I promise you will not be sorry.

You might think you know Caprese, and you likely do, but the pop! of the lemon and the surprise! of the lemon are what make this particular recipe shine, especially when it’s hot hot hot outside!  The lemon is fresh, uplifting, and juxtaposes beautifully alongside the rich olive oil and creamy cheese.

Support your local farmers by purchasing fresh, local, and seasonal tomatoes, right now, as we’re just getting into the peak of the season. (My cheesemonger at all three of the farmers' markets I manage has been commenting on the huge volume of mozzarella she’s selling, so I hopped aboard and asked her to place a hold for me since the market tomatoes are looking good (great!) and basil was also available.)

And then treat yourself to a lunch of Caprese salad alongside a couple of slices of crusty bread, unadorned and ready for dipping into any leftover lemony drizzled dressing. Perfect for sharing—serves 2 as a lunchtime entrée!

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