One of the great joys of the closing weeks of summer is the enormous influx of ripe and juicy tomatoes that flood the markets. This is especially true here in Italy, where tomatoes are practically a second religion. I actively avoid hot-house tomatoes during the winter months as I think they are flavourless. That means when the last big summer flush of tomatoes comes in, I celebrate with a recipe where tomatoes are really the star of the show: Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese.
Caprese Salad is such a quintessentially Italian dish, with cheery bright green basil, white cheese and red, juicy tomatoes echoing the colours of the Italian flag. Traditionally made with mozzarella, I like to really amp up the luxuriousness by using creamy, dreamy burrata cheese instead.
If you’ve not come across burrata yet, stop what you are doing and track down a local supplier immediately. Burrata is mozzarella taken to the absolute limit. It’s made by forming the fresh mozzarella into a pouch that is filled with another type of curd and luscious fresh cream. Yum! Trust me, this stuff is addictively, mind-blowingly good, and with a salad with so few ingredients, this makes all the difference.
It’s not traditional, but I like to punch up the basil flavour in my Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad by making a quick pesto dressing. It’s not essential, but it melts into the tomato and burrata juices and is delicious to mop up with a piece of fresh bread. Trust me, this is one salad where there is never anything leftover on the plate.
I’ve given instructions in the recipe below for a large platter of salad designed to feed 4-6 people. Go ahead and reduce the quantities as necessary for the number of mouths you have to feed.
If you fancy another great spin on Caprese Salad, head on over and check out my recipe to Italian Caprese Pasta Salad – it’s a great bring-along for picnics or summer BBQ’s or fantastic for meal prepping for a week in the office.
What’s your favourite summer salad? Let me know in the comments below!
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
for the salad:
- 750g (1kg) ripe, juicy tomatoes (use a mix of colours and varieties for the best impact)
- medium bunch of fresh basil
- 2 x balls of Burrata (ca. 400g)
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
for the dressing:
- 3 Tbsp basil pesto
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- Use a sharp knife to slice thickly slice the tomatoes, season generously with salt and a little black pepper, then set aside for 15 minutes.
- Tear the leaves of the basil from the stems, then scatter the leaves over the tomatoes.
- Drain the burrata, discarding the liquid it is packaged in. Holding the burrata over the platter to catch any of the filling, tear it into bite-sized pieces and scatter over the plate. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients, thin with a little cold water if necessary, then spoon over the salad.
- Serve immediately with plenty of fresh, white bread.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 253mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to use burrata in the Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad? I can’t get any!
Not at all, you can use standard soft mozzarella instead, try to get some really fresh cheese – when it’s made with buffalo milk it is even better!
Can I make Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad in advance?
As is the case with most salads, this is best made fresh, though you can slice and salt the tomatoes up to a couple of hours in advance. Always keep your tomatoes at room temperature for the best flavour and texture.
Who invented the Caprese salad?
Like a lot of Italian recipes, this is a mystery, though the Caprese salad first appeared on the menu of the Hotel Quisisana in the 1920s.