Simple Caprese Salad

Basil Pesto Caprese Salad
When basil and tomatoes are absolutely throwing themselves at you, it is nice to be able to do something a little different than traditional caprese. Here’s my spin on the traditional “Basil, Mozzarella and Tomato” caprese combo. I use cubes of firm mozzarella that you can buy by the hunk in the deli case, cherry tomatoes in various colors, fresh basil pesto and a reduction of balsamic vinegar.

Did you know… you can make any (cheap) balsamic vinegar taste AMAZING by simply simmering it down in a small saucepan, until it is reduced by about half, or slightly thickened. The more you simmer, the sweeter it will be. WARNING: Do not breathe over a pan of simmering vinegar. This is NOT cool! You will feel like you scorched your lungs, or burnt the fine hair inside your nose!
This week we sent our little man to preschool for the first time, he enjoyed it quite a bit!
He also enjoyed working with Grandpa a bit, on his farming skills.
His favorite thing? Giving the tractor a bath… well, I think his favorite thing was getting Grandpa wet (as he did right after I took this picture), but he begs to differ. Each day of preparation is one day closer to #harvest15, one of my favorite times of year.
Today is the ISU vs. Iowa game… we’re excited to watch some good football. On this weekend 8 years ago, Mike and I got married. Our anniversary is coming up on September 15th, and he’s planned something… stand by!
Hopefully it is a little more ‘anniversary-like’ than chore-selfies in coveralls.
But he’s one heck of a guy!
Oh… did we need to make a salad? Let’s get on that, while the tomatoes and basil are still rampant in the garden.


Simple Caprese Salad

This salad is all the rage at potlucks and helps use up the garden bounty when basil is growing out of your ears and you have laundry baskets full of cherry tomatoes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Cristen


  • 5 cups Cherry Tomatoes larger ones, halved
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2-3/4" cubes (I like using deli style not fresh mozz in this salad because it holds up better.)
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Basil Leaves chopped/chiffonade (roll them like a cigar and chop them into thin strips)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup quality balsamic vinegar reduced until thick and syrup-like, cooled (will yield 1/4 cup)


  • Combine all ingredients except balsamic reduction. Stir ingredients together gently until incorporated. Garnish with balsamic reduction, serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 10 or more depending on serving size.
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1 Comment

  • Reply marysena September 21, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Happy Anniversary! And thanks for the tip on the balsamic vinegar…definitely going to be trying that!

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