I always love the idea of Insalata Caprese (literally, the salad from Capri) but sometimes, I find it can be a little bland. The classic recipe calls for just a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of salt and pepper to flavor the salad, so as not to mask the delicate flavor of the mozzarella, but I like to add a bit more oomph. Here’s how: I start by sprinkling the tomatoes with a pinch of sugar, which brings out their natural sweetness and restores them to their sun-ripened, fresh-picked best. (I know this seems like cheating but don’t feel guilty — even fancy restaurants do it.) Then, I drizzle a dark and syrupy balsamic glaze over top, along with a little olive oil, which not only looks gorgeous but also adds a pop of tangy-sweet flavor to every bite.
If you’re a lazy summer cook like I am, you’ll be happy to know that the recipe calls for store-bought balsamic glaze. Feel free to make your own but it’s really not necessary: store-bought tastes delicious, you only need a tablespoon or two, and the bottle will keep forever in your pantry.
Begin by sprinkling the tomatoes with sugar and half of the salt. Let them sit for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves, then arrange them on a platter, alternating with the mozzarella. Sprinkle the salad with the remaining salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil, followed by the same amount of the balsamic glaze. The glaze is so delicious, you might be tempted to overdo it, but try to use a light hand — a little goes a long way and too much will drown out all of the other fresh flavors. As for the basil, many Caprese salads call for whole basil leaves; I find them a bit too strong unless they are small, but feel free use them if you like. Enjoy!
My Recipe Videos
Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze
- 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Balsamic glaze (store-bought), for drizzling
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil, plus more whole sprigs to garnish the platter
- Arrange the tomato slices on a cutting board. Sprinkle with sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and let sit for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves.
- Arrange the sliced tomatoes on a serving platter, alternating with the sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over top, followed by an equal amount of the balsamic glaze (it's fine to just eyeball it). Scatter the roughly chopped basil over top. Garnish the platter with sprigs of fresh basil, if desired.
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Calories: 264
- Fat: 19g
- Saturated fat: 10g
- Carbohydrates: 5g
- Sugar: 4g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 17g
- Sodium: 672mg
- Cholesterol: 60mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.