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Insalata Caprese with Basil Vinaigrette

Insalata Caprese, the quintessential Italian summer salad of fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes, over mixed greens with a fresh basil vinaigrette.

Insalata Caprese drizzled with basil vinaigrette on pplatter.

I just came off a weekend marathon of tomatoes, gorgeous heirlooms that I picked at a farm down the road.  I made a Caprese salad Saturday night for dinner.  While a traditional Caprese has a drizzle of olive oil, I opted for a basil vinaigrette.  This Insalata Caprese with Basil Vinaigrette is the perfect summertime dish.  The  bounty at the farm stands just doesn’t get any better than in August.  And the colors, I can’t even.

Bowl of summer heirloom tomatoes

Basil dressing in jar with blender in background.

So we’re talking tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, sliced and arranged beautifully on salad greens and then drizzled with the basil vinaigrette.  A sprinkling of sea salt, a few torn basil leaves and you have the most divine salad on earth.  Really, so incredibly fresh tasting, you just can’t get these flavors any other time of year.

Insalata Caprese with Basil Vinaigrette on serving platter.

I don’t know much about heirlooms.  At the farm, they have pictures with names at the end of the rows available to pick.  A couple times, they let me just choose a few from the boxes they picked for local restaurants.  I chose an assortment of red and yellow ones of various sizes and shapes, and a chocolate colored one.

I happen to think heirlooms are gorgeous, warts and all.  Mine had streaks, cracks and some odd shapes but they were beautiful sliced, like a neon rainbow.  And they were bursting with juicy, sweet, real tomato flavor.  Just lovely.

Bowl of summer tomatoes and fresh basil.

Insalata Caprese with Basil VinaigretteSliced heirloom tomatoes on cutting board.

I hope you’re enjoying tomatoes from your garden or farm stand.  I just can’t get enough of them in salads, sandwiches, BLT’s and on grilled pizza.  So many options, I don’t want August to end.  Do you say “tomayto” or “tomahto”? ?????

You might also like this Summer Corn Chowder recipe, a great soup for all the sweet summer corn that’s now in season.

Close up of tomatoes and mozzarella with dressing arranged on platter.

If you’ve tried this Insalata Caprese, please rate it below in the comments and let me know how it went ~ I love hearing from you! HUNGRY FOR MORE?  Subscribe to my Newsletter and come hang out with me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK

Insalata Caprese with Basil Vinaigrette

Summer salad of fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes, over mixed greens with a fresh basil vinaigrette.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Vinaigrette
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Kelly | the hungry bluebird


  • 3 - 5 heirloom tomatoes, different colors and sizes, thickly sliced
  • 1 - 2 balls, fresh mozzarella, drained and thickly sliced
  • Mixed baby lettuces
  • ½ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped, preferably heirloom from the farm stand
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves


  • Scatter a serving platter with mixed baby lettuces.  Arrange overlapping layers of tomatoes and mozzarella on top of the lettuces.  Sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  • Put olive oil, vinegar, water, chopped garlic, mustard and salt into a blender.  Coarsely chop the basil leaves and add to the blender.  Mix on high for about 30 seconds until smooth.  If necessary, add a little more water or olive oil to thin.  Transfer to a jar.
  • With a spoon, drizzle basil vinaigrette all over tomato and cheese salad.  Garnish with a few torn basil leaves and serve.  Leftover vinaigrette will keep covered in the fridge for several days, bring to room temp for serving.


Do not store fresh basil in the refrigerator, it will turn brown.  Snip stem ends and place in a glass of water.  Set on counter, loosely covered with a plastic bag.
Keyword: insalata caprese, caprese salad with lettuce, basil vinaigrette, caprese salad
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!


*Basil vinaigrette adapted from David Lebovitz  


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