Fresh Tomato And Mozzarella Salad Recipe

For the fastest journey ever to the paradise island of Capri, look no further than Susan Olayinka's recipe for fresh tomato and mozzarella salad. In just 5 minutes, you'll be basking in the sun-drenched glow of fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes and milky mozzarella arranged with aromatic leaves of basil, drizzled with a balsamic glaze. It's an insalata Caprese the likes of which you've only ever dreamed of!

For Olayinka's version of this dish, the recipe developer of The Flexible Fridge opts for cow's milk mozzarella instead of the buffalo milk mozzarella so frequently used near Naples, Italy. "I find that cow's milk has a more tender and mild taste," she says. "Also it has a springier texture."

She also uses store-bought balsamic glaze, a concentrated form of sweet balsamic vinegar that has a syrupy texture that, that she notes, "will coat the salad nicely." 

The lack of olive oil in this recipe isn't an oversight! "You could definitely add olive oil to this recipe," notes Olayinka. "I chose not to, as I like the simple creamy taste from the mozzarella."

Gather the ingredients

To make this fresh tomato and mozzarella salad, you'll need a pleasantly short list of ingredients: fresh basil, cow's milk mozzarella, salt, pepper, balsamic glaze ... and, of course, the tomatoes!

For this salad, it is paramount to use the freshest, ripest tomatoes you can find. "I find that vine-ripened tomatoes are tastier as they have ripened to their optimum ripeness," says Olayinka. Choose your favorite tomato variety, or ask your local farmer or market vendor what's ripest to make the flavors of the tomatoes really shine. The result is a super flavorful salad perfect for a summertime cookout or potluck.

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella

Making this salad is super simple and begins with a crucial step: slicing the tomatoes and the mozzarella into even slices. Go for slices about ½ an inch thick, and make sure they're all the same width.

When slicing tomatoes, one tip: consider using a serrated knife like a bread knife, which will cut through the thick tomato skin without damaging your chef's knife. For the mozzarella, the opposite is true: a serrated knife can tear the delicate cheese rather than slicing through it cleanly, so go for a very sharp chef's knife or paring knife (and watch your fingers!).

Gather the basil leaves

Once plated, this salad evokes the Italian flag thanks to its bright hues of red tomatoes, white mozzarella, and green basil. When choosing the basil leaves, be sure to pick the biggest, brightest ones, and remove them carefully from their stems. Basil, Olayinka notes, "can definitely bruise," causing it to oxidize and turn brown or black, rendering this plate far less pretty.

"Just be sure to handle it gently," Olayinka suggests, and you'll be rewarded with basil leaves as beautiful as they are aromatic and tasty.

Arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella

Part of the appeal of a fresh tomato and mozzarella salad is in the plating. Unlike other salads, a Caprese salad isn't tossed together, but rather arranged on a plate. 

To start, begin alternating tomato and mozzarella slices in a circle around the outer edge of the plate. As you go, spiral the slices inward, overlapping them slightly. You can either arrange one or two tomato slices between each slice of mozzarella, depending on how big your tomatoes were and how many slices you have to use up.

Add the basil

Once you have arranged the tomato and mozzarella, it's time to add the basil. Insert the basil leaves after the mozzarella slices, offsetting their beautiful green color against the red and white. 

Olayinka's recipe calls for just 9 basil leaves, but if ever you want to add more, feel free! Some cooks prefer just a few touches of green, while others like a more deeply verdant presence on the plate. But honestly, it's hard to ever have too much fresh basil!

Season the salad

Last step? The finishing touches! Season the salad with a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper. Remember that unlike other cheeses, mozzarella has a fairly low salt content, so you can be pretty generous with the salt — it plays well with the fresh flavors of the ripe tomatoes. 

Finish things off with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, which will add a lovely depth of flavor to the salad. Consider the shape you want your drizzle to have before applying it for an even prettier presentation.

With the seasoning added, the salad is ready to serve! A side of crusty bread to mop up all of those tomato juices is a more than welcome accompaniment.

Fresh Tomato And Mozzarella Salad Recipe
4.9 from 17 ratings
Serve this colorful salad as an appetizer with friends or enjoy it all to yourself as a snack or lunch. Who said salads have to be boring?
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
2
servings
tomato and mozzarella salad
Total time: 5 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 package of mozzarella (about 8 ounces)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon store-bought balsamic glaze
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Directions
  1. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into ½-inch slices. Set aside.
  2. Pick 9 leaves off of the basil stems. Set aside.
  3. Get a serving plate and begin to arrange the salad. Alternate the tomatoes and mozzarella slices to form a circle spiraling inwards.
  4. Place a basil leaf after each mozzarella slice on the plate.
  5. Drizzle the balsamic glaze, salt, and pepper over the salad. It is now ready to serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 367
Total Fat 25.6 g
Saturated Fat 15.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 89.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 4.8 g
Sodium 717.9 mg
Protein 26.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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