Less is more. Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it. All of those age old adages hold true, especially when it comes to preparing one of our favorite dishes of summer: the classic caprese salad. It’s really not about the number of ingredients or steps in this dish. If you shop smart, buying peak-season produce and quality cheese, you really don’t have to do much at all! And when it comes to caprese salad, it actually doesn’t need tomatoes. Sure it’s hard to beat the classic combination, but if you’re not a tomato lover you’ve still got plenty of options.
While the classic will forever have a special place in our hearts, there’s something about the combo of the salty and creamy cheese, plus the fresh crispness of the fruit and/or veggies that makes the caprese salad an easy one to iterate.
We’re breaking down the formula for the perfect caprese salad, plus sharing combination ideas to get you started! Master these essentials and the caprese formula can be endlessly (and brilliantly) adapted.
featured image: Fig Heirloom Oregano Caprese from Fork and Flower
Before we get into combos, a few tips to making sure your salad achieves optimal tastiness:
- Choose your produce wisely. Look for produce that’s appropriately ripe and in season for the fullest flavors.
- Keep your cheese and veggie/fruit of choice in equal proportion. When using mozzarella, always slice it to match the tomatoes/your fruit of choice!
- Use quality olive oil. This is not the time to skimp on quality – organic EVOO is best!
- Your salt type matters. Steer clear of your classic bleached table salt and instead go for pink Himalayan salt, Maldon salt or a mineral-rich sea salt.
Not sure where to start? Try one of these tried and true recipes for a combo that’s sure to be tasty!
Fig Heirloom Oregano Caprese from Fork and Flower
Mango-Radicchio Caprese from epicurious
Melon Caprese Skewers from What’s Gaby Cooking
Roasted Cherry Tomato Thyme Caprese from Bon Appetit
Peach & Plum Caprese Salad from Love and Lemons
Strawberry Walnut Caprese from Edible San Francisco
Honey Grilled Watermelon Caprese Salad from How Sweet Eats
Black Cherry Caprese from Three Owls Kitchen