Caprese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Caprese Salad Recipe

When tomato and fresh basil is THIS good, I hate to do anything other than enjoy it fresh in a salad. My Basil Vinaigrette is simple to make, takes 5 minutes in a blender. You’ll love it. I promise.

First, the Basil Vinaigrette ingredients: fresh basil leaves, shallots (substitute with onion or garlic), sea salt, a couple slices of fresh chili pepper, good olive oil and a vinegar.


First you gotta chop up the shallots (or substitute with onion or garlic) and the pepper in the blender.


Next goes in the torn basil leaves, salt, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water. You need that liquid to get things moving in the blender.


Let that baby whirl while you slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Look at that gorgeous mossy green!


Once it calms down a bit, the color turns bright vivid green.


The makings of a Caprese Salad.


Wait. Another beauty shot of the tomato.

Caprese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Since I’m stacking this Caprese Salad up, I want to make sure that the bottom layer (which uses the bottom of the tomato) is flat — so that the whole stack doesn’t fall over. So lop off the round butt of the tomato so that it has a flat ass to sit on.


Start stacking and layering your Caprese Salad!


Lastly…drizzle the Basil Vinaigrette over your Caprese Salad.


Love that drizzle action!

Caprese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Recipe

serves 4 as first course

4 large tomatoes, sliced into thick slices
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into thick slices
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the Basil Vinaigrette
1 small shallot, roughly chopped (substitute with 1 tablespoon chopped onion or 1 garlic clove)
2 slices fresh chili pepper
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (1/2 tsp table salt)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. To make the Basil Vinaigrette, add the shallot and chili pepper to the blender. Next add the basil leaves, water, vinegar and sea salt. Blend. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you are blending.

2. To assemble the Caprese Salad, layer the tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. In between each layer, season with a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette on top.

Store extra basil vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

This is summer fest!


Summer Fest 2009 is a four-week, cross-blog celebration co-created (alphabetically listed) by A Way to Garden, Matt Armendariz of Mattbites, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, with guest appearances from Shauna and Daniel Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl, Simmer Till Done’s Marilyn Pollack Naron, and Paige Smith Orloff of The Sister Project.’ And from you that’s critical. Your contributions are desired, and needed.

Will you play along? Have a recipe or tip that fits any of our weekly themes? Starting today, with the subject of herbs, you can contribute in various ways, big or small. Contribute a whole post, or a comment, whatever you wish. It’s meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious. The possibilities:

Simply leave your tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below a Summer Fest post on my blog, and then go visit my collaborators and do the same.

The cross-blog event idea works best when you leave your recipe or favorite links (whether to your own blog or someone else’s) at all the host blogs. That way, they are likely to be seen by the widest audience. Everyone benefits, and some pretty great dialog starts simmering.

Or think bigger: Publish entire entire posts of your own, if you wish, and grab the juicy Summer Fest 2009 tomato badge (illustrated by Matt of Mattbites).

Summer Fest 2009 Schedule:

  • Tuesday, August 18: TOMATO WEEK. How do you like them love apples? (this week!)

What did my co-hosts make for the Summer Fest Party?

simmer-till-done-tomato-bread Simmer Till Done Made a Savory Upside Down Tomato Basil Bread

matt-bites-tomatoes-ten-ways Matt Bites does Tomatoes 10 Ways

away-to-garden-frozen-sauce Away to Garden shows us her Quick Tomato Sauce Ever So Slowly

white-on-rice-tomato-jam-recipe White on Rice tells us about their kiddie tomato thieves and makes Tomato Jam!

sister-project What a cute little girl! Paige from The Sister Project makes Curried Carrot and Tomato Soup

smoked-tomato-salsa-glutenfreegirl Gluten Free Girl makes Smoked Tomato Salsa

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Comments 73

  1. [email protected]

    This recipe just screams summer! Such vibrant, gorgeous colors. Delicious.

  2. Oswald Rivera

    As a basil lover, I found your entry for Caprese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette fascinating. I have never tried creating a basil vinaigrette. But now it is on my list of things to accomplish. Many thanks.

  3. Janice

    I love the pictures especially the drizzle action. I love caprese salads in the summer time

  4. Sharmila

    These photos are so vibrant and beautiful! I love a good caprese salad and this one looks good enough to grab off the screen! Yumm!

  5. Digital Scales

    I love all of your pictures as well. The first one is amazing! I couldn’t think of a better way to photograph those tomatoes. This salad looks so fresh, and I can almost taste the vinaigrette dressing–delicious!

  6. Alessandra

    I made this salad last night for friends. They loved it. Thank you for the recipe! I wanted something fresh, flavorful and simple. The basil vinaigrette was wonderful and I have been sharing your recipe (link included) non-stop! Thank you. I will come back often.

  7. Lisa

    I have a gargantuan amount of basil and didn’t know what to do but when I found this recipe, it is now almost all gone. I have made this 3 times in the last 3 days for people that are vacationing.
    Note that I swapped out the white wine vinegar and used white balsamic vinegar and it turned out excellent. No chile peppers in the house and I used 1/2 tsp of dried red pepper flakes. This recipe overall is outstanding. I used this topping for ciabiatta bread on the grill over some basil-mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes w/black olives. Delish!

  8. nitish chandra roy

    This is awesome. In a single sentence, i can say “simplicity at its best”. We already know about tomato-mozerrella salad. but the caprese and basil-vinaigrette dressing lifts up the entire thing.

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