This Caprese Salad Is the Best Thing to Eat All Summer Long

Make the most of fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella with this classic Italian salad perfect for summer lunches and dinners.

Caprese Salad

Matt Taylor-Gross

Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
4 servings

Caprese salad comes from the island of Capri in Italy, and captures the feeling of enjoying a long, lazy summer lunch while you are on vacation. This is an incredibly simple salad, but is dependent upon using the best quality ingredients.

It’s essential that the tomatoes be completely ripe; this is not a salad to make with hard, flavorless out-of-season tomatoes. But in summer, when tomatoes are in season, there’s nothing better than a Caprese with some toasted ciabatta and a glass of wine.

I like using a few different types of tomato in this salad, so you have a variety of shapes, colors and sizes on the plate. Salting and marinating the tomatoes pulls out their juices and deepens their flavor. The mozzarella needs to be fresh and soft; source fior de latte or buffalo mozzarella that has been stored in water. It’s best when it isn’t absolutely cold; pull it from the refrigerator a few minutes before making this salad. A drizzle of quality extra-virgin olive oil adds a final layer of grassy, peppery flavor over the top of the salad. I like serving my Caprese over a bed of arugula, as I think the peppery greens pair nicely with the sweet tomatoes and basil, but skip it if you prefer. — Chandra Ram


  • 2 pounds tomatoes (preferably a mix of varieties and sizes)

  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh arugula leaves

  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced or torn into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Coarsly ground black pepper

  • Toasted ciabatta bread for serving


  1. Cut tomatoes into slices and wedges and place in a large bowl with sliced shallot. Pour red wine vinegar over tomatoes and shallot and sprinkle with a pinch of flaky salt. Toss to combine and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.

  2. Scatter arugula leaves across a platter. Spoon tomatoes and shallots over arugula. Tuck mozzarella pieces between tomatoes. Pour red wine vinegar and any residual juices from bowl over salad, scatter basil leaves on top, and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with toasted ciabatta bread.

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