This easy Caprese Salad recipe tastes like summer on a plate. Ready in just 7 minutes, this no-cook side dish idea asks for just 3 fresh ingredients and a couple pantry staples. Talk about a no-sweat summer recipe!
On a large shallow platter, arrange alternating layers of tomato and mozzarella slices, adding a basil leaf to each one.
Drizzle salad with olive oil and balsamic, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Fresh basil: Seek out lively, firm leaves without brownish spots, discolorations, or holes. I swear by my full-blown basil plant, which I bought in the produce section of my grocery store for about the same price as a single package of the herb.
Fresh mozzarella: Compared to regular, firm mozzarella, fresh mozzarella has a silkier, creamier texture and slightly more salty kick. If you can find fresh mozzarella sold in a liquid brine with a base of whey or water, opt for that; the liquid helps the cheese maintain its hydration during storage. Otherwise, fresh mozzarella sold in shrink-wrapped packaging will do.
Balsamic vinegar: You may feel that the acidity of the tomatoes is enough, but it's common that Caprese variations are served with balsamic vinegar.
Yield: My Caprese Salad recipe creates 4 to 6 appetizer or side servings, depending on the appetites of your crew.
Storage: Caprese Salads are best served immediately. If you have any leftovers, wrap them in plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container, then store in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.