The flavors of vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, zippy basil and sweet balsamic vinaigrette come together in the perfect combo in this mouthwatering caprese salad with grape tomatoes.
It’s tomato season, ya’ll — and I can’t think of a better way to ring it in than this caprese salad with grape tomatoes & mini mozzarella balls. This is the best salad to serve when you really want to showcase the tomatoes themselves, without a lot of extra ingredients.
Simple, simple, simple.
What is caprese salad?
Caprese salad is a traditional recipe from Italy, the island of Capri specifically. The colors of the Italian flag shine in this salad (red, white, green) and it is often served as an appetizer but is a perfect side dish as well.
Typically, caprese salad is arranged on a plate with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella. But today, I’m changing things up a bit using grape tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls, all tossed together in a salad bowl with fresh basil.
What tomatoes should I use for caprese salad?
You must make caprese salad at least once at the peak of summer, when tomaotes are in all their glory. This is definitely not the salad to make with sub-par tomatoes.
Tomatoes, straight from the garden, are the order of the day. They’re the best tomato variety for caprese salad.
But, without garden tomatoes, what’s a girl to do with a major caprese craving?
Enter Pure Flavor Sangria grape tomatoes. These are the next best thing to tomatoes grown in your own garden, and since they’re greenhouse grown you can get them year round at the peak of ripeness!
And just look at those gorgeous colors. I mean, come on.
If you’re using fresh whole tomaotes, you can slice them or cut them into large chunks. With grape tomaotes, leave them whole or slice in half for a beautiful presentation. I like doing a bit of each for a rustic salad.
What type of cheese to use for caprese salad?
In most restaurants, you’ll find caprese salad served with large slices of mozzarella to complement sliced tomatoes. But with smaller grape tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls are the perfect complement.
Specifically, they’re called bocconcini, and they have such a mild and smooth flavor that’s divine with the tomatoes. You can find them in the specialty/gourmet cheese section of most grocery stores.
Alternatively, you can use regular mozzarella cut into 1 inch cubes.
How to Make the Perfect Balsamic Dressing for Caprese Salad
Sweet balsamic vinegar is the perfect complement to all the ingredients in this salad. Some people add an extra step to heat it slowly and create a balsamic glaze.
But when it comes to salad, I’m a bit lazy… and a bit of balsamic vinegar mixed with good quality olive oil and a couple seasonings is all you need. It enhances all the flavors in an incredible way.
To make a perfect caprese salad dressing, here’s what I do:
To a small jar, add 1 part balsamic vinegar and 1 part extra virgin olive oil. Toss in a little dried oregano (this adds to the wonderful Italian flavor) and salt & pepper to taste. Shake it all up to emulsify and pour it over the salad.
How to Make Caprese Salad with Grape Tomatoes
The salad recipe is even easier than the dressing, if you can believe that! To a large salad bowl, simply add 1 pint of Pure Flavor Sangria © cherry tomatoes. Leave them whole or cut in half (I like doing a bit of each).
Next, add 1 cup of mini mozzarella balls and 1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil.
Drizzle the balsamic dressing all over the salad and toss everything together to coat. Serve immediately for the best flavors – you can even refrigerate this salad for up to 1 day.
This salad is perfect to take to parties, potlucks, and summer gatherings!
The flavors of vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, zippy basil and sweet balsamic viniagrette come together in the perfect combo in this mouthwatering caprese salad with cherry tomatoes.
- 1 pint Pure Flavor Sangria © cherry tomatoes, halved or whole
- 1 cup Bocconcini mini mozzarella balls (or regular mozzarella, cut into small ½” cubes)
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
Add tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella to a large salad bowl. Cherry tomatoes can be cut in half, or you can leave some whole to create a more rustic salad.
To a small jar, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano. Shake vigorously to emulsify.
Pour vinaigrette mixture over the salad and toss to combine everything together. Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
* This recipe originally appeared on the Pure Flavor © website. Used with permission.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 476mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 7g
More salad recipes you’ll love:
- Zesty Cilantro Salad
- Roasted Broccoli Salad with Bacon & Pecans
- OPA! Ultimate Greek Salad
- Tomato, Cucumber, & Onion Salad
Caprese salad serving ideas
This salad is the perfect accompaniment to any outdoor celebration, BBQ, or grilling occasion.
Serve with protein and a slice of bread as a complete meal.
Pair with your favorite Italian pasta and sauce, like classic alfredo sauce.
What’s your favorite way to use summer tomatoes?