“ No salad is more representative of summer than the classic Caprese. But sometimes, we need to mix things up! This collection of Caprese re-inventions by some of our favorite bloggers shows you just how creative you can be with the simplest of ingredients. Vijay, Recipe Hunter ”
There’s no salad that screams more of summer than the classic Caprese. While the combination of ingredients is simple, using the freshest and best items you can buy can turn something rather basic into a truly special dish. Traditionally made with a combination of sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar, we wanted to go outside of the box to discover how some of our favorite bloggers are re-inventing the classic Caprese. So tell us in the comments, how do you caprese?
Sometimes there’s no reason to mess with perfection. In this classic recipe, Willow layers slices of ripe tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves then tops it with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple and delicious. (Recipe and Photo: Will Cook for Friends)
Want to turn your Caprese into a finger food for a summer party? Instead of large tomatoes, Rachel cuts cherry tomatoes in half and uses them as “buns” for either side of these Caprese Sliders with mozzarella and basil sandwiched in between. (Recipe and Photo: The Pescetarian and the Pig)
For a sweeter variation, swap out tomatoes in favor of sweet summer strawberries in this Strawberry Caprese Salad. Topped with walnuts for crunch and bocconcini (small balls of mozzarella) to complement the shape of the strawberries, this simple twist is a surprisingly refreshing combination. (Recipe and Photo: Delicious Happens on NoshOnIt)
In these Fried Mozzarella, Basil, and Nectarine Stacks with Balsamic Glaze, Tieghan re-invents every element of the classic Caprese. Instead of tomatoes, she uses rounds of late-summer nectarines. To add crunch, she lightly breads and pan-fries the mozzarella to make fritters. And to add an extra level of intensity, she reduces balsamic vinegar with brown sugar, turning the liquid into a flavor-packed glaze. Stack them up for a show-stopping appetizer. (Recipe and Photo: Half Baked Harvest)
Adding the components of a Caprese to pasta turns a salad into a filling yet fresh summer dinner. In this Caprese Pasta Salad, Kate lightly sautés cherry tomatoes until they burst, creating a natural sauce for the pasta. Tossed with basil, mozzarella, and a splash of vinegar, this pasta salad would be delicious warm for dinner tonight, at room temperature for a picnic or potluck, and even cold for lunch tomorrow. (Recipe and Photo: Cookie and Kate)
6. Sandwich It
Think of this as a grown-up version of your favorite grilled cheese sandwich with tomato. For this Caprese Grilled Cheese, Sylvia sandwiches fresh mozzarella and tomatoes between two slices of hearty bread and adds a zesty arugula and basil pesto as a spread. (Recipe and photo: Feasting at Home)
Instead of tomato sauce, Courtney creates a Caprese Pizza by layering slices of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on top of a homemade pizza crust (or just use store bought dough for convenience). After it comes out of the oven, tear leaves of basil over top and drizzle it with a balsamic reduction for a pizza-fied version of the classic salad. (Recipe and Photo: NeighborFood)
What other ideas have you seen for transforming the Caprese salad? Let us know in the comments!
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