Classic Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze spells summertime! This easy salad combines garden fresh tomatoes with creamy mozzarella cheese, and is topped with extra-virgin olive oil, a balsamic glaze, and salt and pepper!
There really is nothing better than fresh tomatoes from the garden. Big juicy perfectly ripe red tomatoes. THIS is what dreams are made of.
- Tomatoes in a BLT – YES.
- Avocado toast topped with tomatoes – YES.
- A plate of eggs and tomatoes – YES.
- Just plain sliced tomatoes with plenty of s&p – YES.
- Caprese salad with fresh tomatoes – HECK YES!
If they are fresh from a garden, they are heaven to me. So thankful for my friend, Kerri, and her bountiful garden and willingness to share! 😀
Caprese salad is a simple Italian salad, consisting of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil, occasionally paired with arugula (and in this case, drizzled with balsamic glaze). Insalata Caprese, as it is called in Italy, is best served with crisp white wine!
Ingredients needed for Classic Caprese Salad:
- Tomatoes – Garden-fresh is best! Try a farmer’s market or beg from a friend who has a garden.
- Mozzarella – Fresh mozzarella slices needed. You could also use some fresh burrata cheese as well.
- Basil – We have a couple of basil plants so it’s at the ready for me. Otherwise, you can buy it at the store but just make sure you don’t refrigerate (to avoid dark spots).
- Olive Oil – I prefer using extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe.
- Balsamic Glaze – You can buy it or make your own. See below!
- Salt and Pepper – Use either sea salt or kosher salt. Freshly ground black pepper is best!
How to make Classic Caprese Salad:
- ** IF you want to make your own balsamic glaze, do it in advance and allow plenty of time for it to cool.
- Slice tomatoes. Use a serrated edge knife to cut the tomatoes in nice thick slices. I used three medium tomatoes for this recipe.
- Slice cheese. You can buy the fresh mozzarella already sliced or slice your own.
- Tear basil. Chiffonnade the basil leaves, or simply tear it.
- Assemble salad. On a large plate or platter, place thickly sliced tomatoes. Top with sliced mozzarella and basil. Then drizzle some olive oil, balsamic glaze, salt, and pepper.
- EAT. It’s best to eat this salad fresh, at almost room temperature. I don’t recommend prepping in advance!
I like to keep this balsamic glaze (Affiliate Link) handy, but you can definitely make your own too.
How to make balsamic glaze:
- Combine 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar and one tablespoon of honey in a small sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until it reduces by about 1/3. You want it to be a little bit thick, but not overly sticky. Cool.
This salad is best served at room temperature. NEVER refrigerate your tomatoes, and set the cheese out in advance so that it is not so chilled. The flavors will meld together better at room temp, and your mouth will be happy.
Want to try these ingredients in a slightly different way? Try my Arugula Caprese Salad! It gets rave reviews from my family. 😀
Classic Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze
- 3 medium tomatoes – garden fresh is best!
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
- 10-12 leaves fresh basil
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze
- sea salt (or kosher salt) – to taste
- freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- Slice tomatoes into thick slices. Arrange on a plate, and top with sliced mozzarella, basil, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze. Top with some kosher salt (or sea salt) and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve salad immediately. Best at room temperature.
- Tomatoes are always best kept on the counter at room temperature.
- Fresh basil will turn black if stored in the refrigerator. It’s best to store it like cut flowers, with stems in a jar of water. Place a plastic bag over the jar to create a sort of greenhouse.