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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 with fresh mozzarella and basil dressing on serving platter.

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.

Basil vinaigrette in jar.

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.

Bowl of fresh, seasonal tomatoes.

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.

Caprese salad on platter.

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.  And sometimes I just toss all these caprese ingredients in a bowl for lunch.  So many options, I don't want August to end.  Do you say "tomayto" or "tomahto"? Kelly🍴🐦

Caprese salad in white bowl.

Looking for more seasonal summer recipes?  Here are a few to try:

  • Grilled Corn Salad with honey-lime dressing, all the sweet corn and summer veggies are in this one.
  • Fresh Peach Pie with a flaky crust from scratch, the perfect summer fruit pie.
  • Blackberry Peach Cobbler pairs two summer fruit favorites in one delicious dessert.
  • Blackberry Crisp is lovely, and the topping recipe works for any fruit crisp.

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Insalata caprese with fresh mozzarella and basil dressing on serving platter.

Insalata Caprese with Basil Vinaigrette

Summer salad of fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes, over mixed greens with a fresh basil vinaigrette.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 291kcal


  • 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.

Recipe Notes

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.


Calories: 291kcal Carbohydrates: 10g Protein: 3g Fat: 28g Saturated Fat: 4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 20g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 323mg Potassium: 626mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 7g Vitamin A: 2688IU Vitamin C: 36mg Calcium: 53mg Iron: 1mg
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*Basil vinaigrette adapted from David Lebovitz  


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