Inspiration: Making a seafood lasagna for dinner, I was searching for a vegetable side dish that I thought would compliment the flavors of the lasagna. B and I don’t care for traditional lettuce salads all too much, but we both like salads that consist of a lot of chopped veggies. If you’re like us and don’t prefer lettuce-based salads, there are plenty of other options out there! This caprese salad is just one option, and I love it because I feel like it has just enough elegance for a meal that’s a little fancier.
What we Loved: There’s not a whole lot that I don’t love about this salad. Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper are some of my favorite flavors, and they really make for a great tasting dish. I particularly like adding a liberal amount of kosher salt to the salad for a salty crunch, and what I love most about this dish is that it packs a ton of flavor for its simplicity. Traditional caprese salads consist of sliced tomatoes, slices of mozzerella, and whole basil leaves, but I liked the idea of using grape tomatoes, chopped basil, and just a little bit of mozzarella bocconcini cheese (the smaller mozzarella shown here) to make a salad that is incredibly easy to prepare and more in resemblance of a typical side dish salad.
Helpful Hints: I would recommend using kosher salt rather than table salt, as kosher salt is bigger and really provides a nice, crunchy texture to the salad. With table salt, you would get an unseen salty flavor, but it’s really the texture of the salt that makes it wonderful. I used grape tomatoes, which I prefer because they are smaller than cherry tomatoes, but they’re also a little sweeter. If you don’t want that sweet flavor, you could use cherry tomatoes instead.
1 container mozzarella bocconcini cheese, sliced
1 container grape tomatoes, sliced
2 handfuls basil leaves, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Combine the cheese, tomatoes, and basil in a bowl.
2. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, mix, and serve.