A beautiful, simple and refreshing caprese salad

The same combination that makes pizza so irresistible — mozzarella and tomatoes — also makes a mean salad.

And just like a classically delicious pizza, you don't need much beyond those two star ingredients to assemble a stunning salad, known in Italy as a caprese salad.

In this case, I simply stacked slabs of tomato and fresh mozzarella, then drizzled them with a lemon vinaigrette and sprinkled them with fresh basil and lemon zest.

To add a punch of tang to the salad, I added capers to the vinaigrette, as well as a sprinkle of them over the salad just before serving. Capers are the pickled unopened flower buds of a bush that grows in the Mediterranean. The flavor is pleasantly briny and herby.

Of course, like pizza, feel free pile on whatever else seems tasty.


Caprese salad with caper vinaigrette

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Two 8-ounce balls fresh mozzarella

2 large slicing tomatoes

Salt and ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice and zest of 1 lemon


1 tablespoon capers, divided

Handful fresh basil leaves

Use a serrated knife to slice each ball of mozzarella into 4 slices. Repeat with the tomatoes, cutting each into 4 slices.

Stack 2 slices of tomato and 2 slices of mozzarella, alternating as you stack, on each of 4 serving plates. As you stack, season each tomato slice with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a blender, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and half of the capers. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a bit of the dressing over each mozzarella-tomato stack. Scatter several basil leaves, a few of the remaining capers and a bit of the lemon zest over each stack.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 460 calories; 370 calories from fat (79 percent of total calories); 41 g fat (18 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrate; 19 g protein; 1 g fiber; 370 mg sodium.

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