The 3-Ingredient Formula for the Perfect Capresé Salad

Think outside the tomato.

By Hannah Zahner

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

The Formula

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.

Combination Inspiration

Not sure where to start? Try one of these tried and true recipes for a combo that’s sure to be tasty!

fig heirloom tomato buffalo mozzarella

Fig Heirloom Oregano Caprese from Fork and Flower

fig heirloom tomato buffalo mozzarella

Mango-Radicchio Caprese from epicurious

Melon prosciutto Caprese Skewers

Melon Caprese Skewers from What’s Gaby Cooking

fig heirloom tomato buffalo mozzarella

Roasted Cherry Tomato Thyme Caprese from Bon Appetit

fig heirloom tomato buffalo mozzarella

Peach & Plum Caprese Salad from Love and Lemons

strawberry basil caprese salad

Strawberry Walnut Caprese from Edible San Francisco

watermelon Caprese Salad

Honey Grilled Watermelon Caprese Salad from How Sweet Eats

cherry Caprese Salad

Black Cherry Caprese from Three Owls Kitchen

Comments (3)

  1. Clelia says:

    they are all good salads but, please don’t call them “caprese salad”

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