I love the summertime. Not only are the days longer, the weather warmer, and the conditions perfect for the beach, but the produce are also alive this time of year. Summertime Strawberry Caprese Salad is one of my favorite simple dishes that is all about the ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes to make.
There can never be enough salad recipes, especially during the warm months of summer. Adding the bright and sweet flavor of berries to a salad is one of my favorite ways to switch things up, such as in my Roasted Beet and Berry Salad. It's an easy way to give something a twist while adding a little natural sweetness.
A Taste of the Season
This salad is all about celebrating the ripe, juicy, crimson bounty of the summer. There's something special about tomatoes this time of year, and also all of the beautiful jeweled berries.
- Campari tomatoes - You can sometimes find these labeled as cocktail tomatoes. They're sweet, juicy, and the perfect size for salads. Simply sliced them in half or quarter them depending upon their size.
- Strawberries - If you're lucky to live in a state that grows strawberries, this is a great salad to source all of your ingredients from the farmer's market. There is nothing like the sweetness of just picked strawberries.
- Mozzarella - If you're using a fresh mozzarella for this recipe, make sure that you drain it well.
- Basil - Basil and its slightly licorice flavor accents both the tomatoes as well as the strawberries.
- Sea salt and pepper
- Olive oil - Make sure that you pick a good olive oil with fruity flavor for this. It adds a little richness to the dish.
- Balsamic vinegar - Just like you want to use a good olive oil, use a good vinegar for this. The longer a balsamic vinegar is aged, the sweeter and more syrupy it becomes.
How to Make Summertime Strawberry Caprese Salad
There's no need to heat up the kitchen with this vibrant and beautiful fresh dish.
With just a little chopping, this colorful salad comes together effortlessly.
- Chop it Up
Cut all of your tomatoes, strawberries, and mozzarella into fairly uniform sizes. You can tear your basil, use scissors, or chiffonade it.
- Mix it Up
Add your chopped tomatoes, berries, cheese, and basil to a bowl and stir gently to combine.
- Season It
Season your salad with sea salt and pepper.
- Dress It
It doesn't take much to allow this salad to shine. Simply drizzle on the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
This salad is all about using ingredients that are at season's peak. However, there are things you can do to switch it up and try different flavors.
- Campari tomatoes - If you can't find Campari tomatoes, you can substitute them with heirloom tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, or vine ripe tomatoes. You will just need to cut them smaller.
- Strawberries - Fresh is best! You don't want to use frozen strawberries for this salad.
- Mozzarella - The mozzarella, tomato, and basil combination is what makes this a caprese salad at heart. However, have fun experimenting. Tangy goat cheese goes with both the goat cheese as well as the tomatoes. Try swapping it out.
- Balsamic vinegar - There are so many delicious flavored balsamic vinegars out there. Try using a strawberry vinegar.
- Sea salt - I like using fine sea salt for this salad, but you can easily replace it with kosher salt.
Variations on Summertime Strawberry Caprese Salad
Try switching up this salad by swapping the strawberries for a different berry. Blueberries would be a fun addition and add a beautiful pop of color.
You can also try different types of mozzarella in this salad. The pearl sized mozzarella will give you a little bite of cheese with every forkful. You could also try burrata.
Equipment for Summertime Strawberry Caprese Salad
One of my favorite things about making salads is that all I need are three simple things, a knife, cutting board, and bowl or platter. However, you can use a mason jar to shake your olive oil and vinegar together while also allowing you to make everything ahead, and then dress the salad when you're ready to serve.
How to Store Your Salad
Both tomatoes and strawberries let off a lot of liquid. Making this salad too far in advance might make it a little too watering. However, you can chop up all of the components and store them separately, draining off any excess liquid before tossing them together and dressing your salad.
Tip for Making Summertime Strawberry Caprese Salad
While this salad comes together easily, I do have one tip not just for this salad, but anytime you are cutting tomatoes. Always use the right knife! You want to use a serrated knife anytime you are slicing a smooth skinned vegetable or fruit such as a tomato.
Summertime Strawberry Caprese Salad
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 serrated knife
- 1 bowl
- 2 cups Campari tomatoes, quartered
- 2 cups Strawberries, halved
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, cubed
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup Fresh basil, chiffonade
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- Cut the strawberries, tomatoes, and mozzarella into even sized bites. Add to a bowl.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the basil and toss to combine.
- Drizzle on the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Toss to evenly coat.
- Serve and enjoy!