This recipe for Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze is a modern variation of a classic Caprese salad. A traditional Caprese consists of mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil, all drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper.
This delicious dish was named after the island of Capri and has since become a popular antipasto (appetizer) in Italian cuisine. In this recipe, I decided to use cherry tomatoes instead of larger tomatoes and added a tangy balsamic glaze for extra flavor.
One of my absolute favorite times to serve this dish is during the summer months when tomatoes are at their peak season and the weather is warm. As someone who loves to cook but hates turning on the oven or stove when it’s hot out, this dish is a total win for me. It’s perfect for summer because it's light, refreshing, and so easy to prepare. I love bringing it along to any potlucks, picnics, or family barbecues because it's always a hit with everyone.
If you’re looking to turn this into a complete meal, I highly recommend pairing it with one of my main course recipes. One of my personal favorites is Shrimp Scampi With Angel Hair Pasta. The combination of the garlicky shrimp and the cool, tangy tomato salad is unbeatable. Another great option is this Spicy Spaghetti Recipe With Sausage. The heat from the sausage perfectly complements the refreshing flavors of the salad.
And of course, no meal is complete without a delicious drink to wash it down with. My favorite cocktail to pair with this dish is a classic Paloma Recipe. The tart grapefruit juice and tequila perfectly balance the sweetness of the tomatoes in the salad. Trust me, this combination is a match made in heaven!
The key ingredients I used for this Caprese Salad include the following:
- Cherry Tomatoes: These small, sweet tomatoes are perfect for salads because of their size and flavor.
- Fresh Ciliegine Mozzarella: A soft and creamy cheese that pairs well with the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Fresh Basil: A fragrant herb that adds a fresh and bright flavor to the dish.
- Balsamic Glaze: A thick, tangy, and slightly sweet sauce made from balsamic vinegar, which adds a depth of flavor to the salad.
- Olive Oil, Dried Oregano, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt: These additional seasonings help to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients and add some depth to the dish.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Helpful Hint: To prevent the salad from becoming too watery, especially if you're making it ahead of time, try salting the sliced tomatoes and letting them sit in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes before assembling the salad. This will help draw out excess moisture from the tomatoes and prevent the salad from becoming too soggy. After salting the tomatoes, rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel before assembling the salad.
Looking to make this recipe but don't have the exact ingredients? Here are a few helpful ideas for substitutions you can try:
- Tomatoes: While cherry tomatoes are the star of this recipe, you can use any type of tomato you like. Roma or grape tomatoes are great alternatives, or you can try using heirloom tomatoes for a more colorful and flavorful salad.
- Mozzarella: Instead of fresh mozzarella balls, you can use sliced fresh mozzarella or even burrata cheese for a creamier texture. You could also substitute feta or goat cheese for a tangier flavor.
- Basil: If you don't have fresh basil on hand, you can substitute dried basil, or use other fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or mint.
- Balsamic Glaze: If you don't have balsamic glaze, you can make your own by simmering balsamic vinegar over low heat until it thickens and becomes syrupy. You can also use a different type of glaze, such as honey or maple glaze, or omit the glaze altogether if you prefer a lighter salad.
- Seasonings: Feel free to experiment with different seasonings to customize the flavor of the salad. You could add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, or swap out the oregano for Italian seasoning or dried thyme.
Want to add some extra flair to your Caprese Salad? Try one of these delicious variations:
- Grilled Vegetable Caprese Salad: Add some grilled vegetables to the salad for a heartier version. Try grilling zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers, and then slicing them and adding them to the salad.
- Strawberry Caprese Salad: For a sweet twist on this classic salad, add some sliced strawberries to the mix. The sweet and savory flavors will pair perfectly together.
- Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Use the same ingredients to make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Layer sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves between two slices of bread, and then grill until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Serving platter
- Measuring spoons
To properly store this Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze, you'll want to transfer any leftover salad to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Make sure to consume the leftovers within 1-2 days for the best flavor and texture.
Now, a little tip for you: if you've already dressed the salad with the balsamic glaze, it's best not to store it for too long, as the tomatoes and mozzarella can become watery and the basil can wilt. To prevent this, you can store the dressed salad separately from the balsamic glaze and drizzle it over the top just before serving.
That's it! Storing this salad is easy and straightforward, and it will keep well in the refrigerator for a day or two if properly stored.
I always make sure to use the freshest ingredients possible when preparing this salad. Did someone say local Farmer's Market? It's all about showcasing those simple and delicious flavors, so the quality of your ingredients can really make a big difference in the end result. I love searching for the brightest red cherry tomatoes, picking the most fragrant basil leaves, and finding the creamiest, freshest mozzarella to include. And when it comes to the finishing touch, I never forget to drizzle on plenty of balsamic glaze for that perfect sweet and tangy flavor!
When it comes to making a Caprese salad, cherry tomatoes are a classic choice. But I've found that other types of tomatoes like heirloom, Roma, or beefsteak tomatoes can also make a great addition to the mix. Personally, I love experimenting with different tomato varieties because they bring their unique flavor, texture, and color to the salad. Whether it's the sweetness of an heirloom tomato or the juiciness of a beefsteak tomato, choosing the right tomato can really elevate the dish and make it your own. So don't be afraid to try something new and see what works best for your taste buds!
When it comes to a Caprese salad, fresh basil is definitely my top choice. But let's be real, sometimes we don't have access to fresh herbs. In a pinch, dried basil can work as a substitute. Just keep in mind that the flavor won't be as punchy and lively as it would be with fresh basil. So if you have the chance to get your hands on fresh basil, go for it! But if not, dried basil will still do the job.
One of the best things about caprese salad is that it's incredibly versatile and can be customized to your liking. If you're looking to add some protein to the dish, consider grilling up some shrimp or adding in some prosciutto. But keep in mind that adding too many ingredients can make the flavor profile more complex. So be sure to adjust the seasoning and dressing accordingly to maintain that perfect balance of flavors.
When it comes to the mozzarella in a caprese salad, I always make sure to use the freshest and highest quality mozzarella I can find. It's important to pat the cheese dry with a paper towel before using it in the salad to prevent it from becoming too watery. And to ensure the perfect texture, I like to add the mozzarella just before serving, so it doesn't have time to release excess liquid. This small step can make a big difference in the overall texture and flavor of the salad.
Yes! This salad can be made ahead of time, but it's best to prepare it just before serving for optimal freshness. If you need to prepare it in advance, store the ingredients separately and assemble the salad just before serving. The dressing and balsamic glaze can be added just before serving to prevent the salad from getting soggy.
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These are my favorite dishes to serve with Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad With Balsamic Glaze:
Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze
- Cutting Board
- Sharp knife
- Serving platter
- Measuring Spoons
- 2 ½ Cups Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 ½ Cup Fresh Ciliegine Mozzarella
- ½ cup Fresh Basil
- ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- Balsamic Glaze
- Wash the cherry tomatoes and slice them in half. Arrange them on a serving platter.
- Add the fresh mozzarella balls to the platter with the cherry tomatoes.
- Tear the fresh basil leaves into small pieces and sprinkle them over the tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Sprinkle dried oregano and black pepper over the top of the salad.
- Drizzle olive oil over the salad.
- Sprinkle sea salt over the salad.
- Finish by drizzling balsamic glaze over the top of the salad.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Making this Caprese Salad? Please tag me on Instagram @natashasfoodadventures so I can see your creations! I love getting to know you guys and can’t wait to see which recipe you will make next.
- Wash all produce thoroughly before using it in the recipe.
- Use a clean cutting board and knife to chop the ingredients.
- Store any leftover ingredients and prepared dish in airtight containers in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage.