This classic caprese salad is the perfect summertime dish. Ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and aromatic basil leaves, drizzled in olive oil: caprese salad is super simple, yet unbelievable delicious!
Ever since I’ve been visiting the island of Capri a few years ago, where this salad originates, caprese is my favorite summer salad! You hardly need a recipe for Insalata Caprese, so please use my recipe below as a guideline.
One thing I will point out: A dish with only a handful of ingredients relies on the best ingredients to taste stunning. Make this salad only during summertime, when tomatoes are most flavorful.
Ingredients for caprese salad:
- Tomatoes: Only use flavorful, ripe, peak-season tomatoes. Plum tomatoes are my go-to.
- Mozzarella: Use fresh, soft mozzarella balls that are packed in water.
- Basil: Caprese salad needs fresh basil leaves. Pluck them from the plant right before serving. Supermarket herb pots are your best friend if you don’t grow your own herbs.
- Olive oil: Use your favorite cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil. It has more flavor than the refined kind.
- Salt: Fine or flaky sea salt is the best option.
- Optional: balsamic vinegar: Authentic caprese salad is made without balsamic vinegar. But a small drizzle of it tastes awesome. Even better: Use thick, reduced, syrup-like balsamic reduction aka balsamic glaze.
I hope you love this easy caprese salad. Please leave me a comment and rating if you do!
Italian Caprese Salad - ready in 5 minutes!
- 4 medium tomatoes (use ripe peak-season tomatoes)
- 8 oz (225 g) fresh mozzarella (packed in water)
- Fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- Sea salt (fine or flaky)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze (optional)
- Cut tomatoes into slices.
- Drain the mozzarella and slice it.
- Alternate tomatoes and mozzarella slices on a platter. Tuck some fresh basil leaves in between and put some on top.
- Drizzle olive oil, (and balsamic vinegar, if using) on top. Sprinkle with salt.
- I always serve it with additional olive oil (who can get enough of it?) making it perfect for sopping up the dressing with bread. Enjoy!