Caprese Salad (Italy)

A Caprese salad is an extremely simple and fresh salad from Italy. Because there are very few ingredients it’s all about the freshness of your ingredients with any Caprese salad recipe. Number one is the tomatoes. Fresh garden tomatoes are imperative to this salad tasting right. In Italy, where this salad was created, beautiful dark red ripe tomatoes grow easily. If you live in a colder climate, you can’t get this quality of tomatoes year round. This is why you should make this Caprese salad recipe while the tomatoes are juicy, fresh, and have peak flavor. Fresh basil is also best when in season. Dried basil won’t work in this salad.

Extra virgin olive oil is the next important ingredient. You should really try to have a high-quality bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Fresh garden tomatoes don’t deserve anything less than the good stuff, first pressed extra virgin olive oil. Our extra virgin olive oil from Crete, sold in our online store, is an amazing EVOO that perfectly compliments the flavor of fresh, garden tomatoes. Next, find a fresh ball of buffalo mozzarella for this recipe. If you know somewhere that makes it fresh, that’s great. If not, the balls of mozzarella prepackaged in the specialty cheese rack at the supermarket are fine.

When assembling this salad, alternate tomato and mozzarella slices in a circle around the plate until you use them all up. Look at the picture above for an example. Then decorate the tomato and mozzarella with whole basil leaves. You can get really creative when assembling a Caprese salad, the sky’s the limit. It almost always looks beautiful though because of the contrast between the red, white, and green. Another version of this is a tossed version with small pearl mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes. I would serve this salad with any of your favorite pasta dishes. Here are a few from Mediterranean Living that would go great with this salad:

Italian Farmhouse Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with Greek Olives (Island of Crete)

Pasta with Clams (Spaghetti Alle Vongole)

caprese salad recipe

Caprese Salad (Italy)

George Zikos
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Calories 544 kcal


  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, washed and cut into thick slices
  • 1-8 ounces buffalo mozzarella ball, cut into thick round slices
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, washed
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  • Arrange tomato and mozzarella slices in a circle overlapping one another. Sprinkle with sea salt. Arrange basil leaves all over the tomato and mozzarella.
  • Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the salad.
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.


Calories: 544kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 9gFat: 49gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 143mgPotassium: 935mgFiber: 4gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 4185IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 688mgIron: 2mg
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About the Author: George Zikos
George studied International Business in Greece in 2015 for three semesters. His family is from the island of Crete, and he lived with them for a whole summer. During that time, he started working for Mediterranean Living and contributing his firsthand experiences of the traditional Cretan diet. He learned fluent Greek along the way, being fully immersed in a traditional Cretan village. He is since graduated with a business degree from Worcester State University. George loves language and traveling, so he completed a TEFL certificate program at the Boston Language Institute in order to teach English abroad and travel the world. He currently works full-time blogging, recipe formulating, and social media marketing for Mediterranean Living. His passions include language, gardening, hiking, skateboarding, and watching sports. He dreams of living in Crete one day, after he travels the world learning as many languages and cultures as possible.
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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