Summer is here and with it brings barbecues, picnics, and lots of other outdoor activities that will keep you out of the kitchen. Making a salad is a fresh and easy way to stay cool and feed your family right! Mary Harp, from the Healthy Christian Home blog, has put a creative spin on the classic Caprese salad that will make your mouth water. She is a food-loving mom who values healthy eating and feeding her family, real, whole foods. Using Pure Flavor® Sangria Medley Tomatoes, Mary’s version of this classic Italian favorite is not only beautiful but delicious too!

Classic Caprese Salad with a Twist

Are you guilty of making the same salads over and over again?  I am.  For some reason, salads are difficult for me to get creative with. I often throw the same romaine lettuce, carrots, and sliced tomatoes into a bowl and call it done.  But what if I approach salads a bit differently… as an opportunity to have fun?

That’s what happens when I have a vegetable that is SUPER special and deserves to be treated as such.  It’s time to let it shine!

Pure Flavor® Sangria Medley Tomatoes are my source of inspiration today.  These babies are SO sweet – you won’t believe it.  Perfectly ripe, not a bit mealy, juicy and oh so flavorful!  Hands down, they deserve to be the star of the show.  So, I did some research on the best tomato salads and Caprese salads kept popping up.  I’d never had one before, but I was intrigued.

What is a Caprese salad?

A traditional Italian salad, it hails from the island of Capri on the coast of Naples.  The name Caprese salad means “salad of Capri.”

Typically, Caprese salad is made with slices of large tomatoes and mozzarella slices, sprinkled with basil and served with a balsamic glaze, or just simple olive oil.  Today we’re creating a more modern twist on this simple, traditional recipe by using a mixture of grape tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls, which can be found in the gourmet cheese section of most grocery stores.

How to make Caprese salad

This recipe is a cinch and only takes minutes to prepare. Just add your Sangria Tomato Medley to a bowl (I like cutting some in half and leaving some whole for a rustic salad) along with chopped fresh basil and mini mozzarella balls. If you can’t find mini mozzarella balls in your grocery store, regular mozzarella works great – simply dice it into ½” cubes.

Next, make the balsamic vinaigrette: in a small jar, add equal parts good quality olive oil (even Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and balsamic vinegar along with dried oregano, salt, and pepper.  Shake vigorously to emulsify the vinaigrette.

Pour vinaigrette over the salad and toss everything together to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 1 day but it does taste best when fresh!

To view or print the full recipe, click here.

What to serve with Caprese salad?

This salad is such an impressive side dish to take to a potluck, family dinner, or to serve to guests.  It pairs beautifully with many different meals.

The most obvious idea is to serve it with your favorite Italian pasta, such as Alfredo or Spaghetti Bolognese.  It would also taste wonderful with any simple chicken or fish dish.  This salad is even great with burgers at your backyard BBQ!  You can even top this salad with your favorite protein to create a complete meal.  The possibilities are endless.

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