Pesto Caprese Salad
Jan 03, 2023
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This easy, fresh, clean pesto caprese salad gives you that taste of summer any time of the year. In the summer I use fresh tomatoes from my garden which make it all the more mouthwatering.
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Crisp, Raw Pesto Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is one of my favorite easy dishes to make in the summertime and it always impresses company with its simple elegant flavor. I love to add pesto to caprese salad since it helps everything stay coated with the basil flavor.
Caprese salad originated from the Italian island of Capri. It’s traditionally fresh sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh sliced mozzarella topped with vinegar and olive oil. I love traditional caprese but cutting things up and mixing in pesto makes it easier to get a bit of all the goodness in one bite. Plus we add in some other fresh veggies to make it even healthier and more flavorsome.
To make Pesto Caprese Salad, you’ll need:
- Cherry tomatoes – you can use red or yellow cherry tomatoes or a mixture of both. If you don’t have cherry tomatoes just cut up any size tomato into cherry size pieces. Tomatoes add a sweetness and acidity so fresh is best.
- Cucumbers – these are not a traditional “caprese salad” ingredient but they add a nice fresh clean taste to the salad. Make sure you peel them before you cut them into half moons.
- Red Onion – red onions have a sharp flavor, if you want to tame them you can soak them in cold water after you cut them up then strain them before adding them to the salad.
- Avocado – avocado adds a creamy texture to the pesto caprese salad. If you don’t like avocado you can leave it out or mash it up with the pesto.
- Mozzarella balls – fresh mozzarella is really important for this recipe, typically you will find it in a brine water which is as fresh as it comes without making it yourself.
- Pesto – pesto is a mixture of fresh basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and garlic. We want all that flavor in this caprese salad in place of the traditional basil.
- Sea Salt and Pepper – use high quality sea salt and fresh pepper. You need salt to lift the flavor of the other ingredients and pepper to add that spice hit.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:
- Step 1 – Add all the ingredients to a bowl and toss them in the pesto to coat everything thoroughly.
- Step 2 – Taste the salad and season with salt and pepper to your taste. You can garnish with fresh basil if you want.
- Step 3 – Enjoy!
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Pest Caprese Salad:
This salad is super easy to make, here are some tips on how to enhance it.
Make this an entree with chickpeas. If you want to eat this salad as a protein packed entree instead of a side you can simply add cooked chickpeas or any cooked protein.
Spice it up. If you want to make it spicy you can add red pepper flakes. If you want to add more acid you can squeeze some lemon on it.
This will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. If you aren’t planning to eat it right away you can combine the ingredients except the pesto and refrigerate them and add the pesto just before serving.
Mozzarella is the preferred cheese for a caprese salad but if it’s not your preferred cheese you can substitute feta or a soft goat or cow cheese such as Boursin.
What to serve with Pesto Caprese Salad?
Creamy Avocado Cashew Pest Creamy Avocado Cashew Pesto – Sweet Cs Designs Easy Vegan Pest Easy Vegan Pesto – Sweet Cs Designs Pesto Stuffed Burrata Pesto Stuffed Burrata – Sweet Cs Designs Garden Vegetable Greek Salad Garden Vegetable Greek Salad (sweetcsdesigns.com) Greek Chicken Souvlaki Greek Chicken Souvlaki – Sweet Cs Designs
Pesto Caprese Salad
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- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups cucumber, peeled and cut in half moons
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup small mozzarella balls
- ½ cup pesto
- Fresh ground sea salt and pepper to taste
- Assemble all your ingredients and slice avocado.
- In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and stir to coat everything in the pesto evenly.
- Season the salad with fresh ground sea salt and pepper to taste.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 358Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 30mgSodium 416mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 5gSugar 5gProtein 12g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.