appetizer, Brunch, Cheese, Food, Recipes, Salad

Colorful variation on Caprese Salad

Colorful variation on Caprese Salad Ronit PensoIt’s hot outside, so I thought about preparing a nice quick salad that doesn’t require cooking, and yet is filling like a cooked dish. Caprese is exactly this kind of salad.

The original Caprese salad was created in the 1950’s in Capri. It consisted of only sliced tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella cheese, dressed in olive oil.
Since then, other versions were created. Most had basil in them, which resulted a more “patriotic” looking salad, as it has the colors of the Italian flag: green, red and white.

The Caprese purists claim the salad should not have any other seasoning but the olive oil, as the cheese is too delicate for any dressing. Yet, after tasting a few of these salads, I’ve decided that with all due respect to the classic version, it could benefit from a bit more flavor and texture.

I’ve decided not to slice the cheese, but rather “pull” it. I was surprised to see that the cheese actually tasted different (and I believe better) this way. I also liked the rustic presentation it created.
Other changes I’ve made were the use of colorful cherry tomatoes, adding a light touch of sweet/sour aged Balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses, and raw pistachios on top, for a crunchy texture and even more color.

Served with rustic bread or fresh focaccia, this salad is a perfect dish for a hot summer day.

Makes: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Fresh basil leaves, washed and dried in a salad spinner
About 4.5 oz (130 grams) high quality very fresh mozzarella
10-12 assorted cherry tomatoes
Sea salt
Freshly ground 4 pepper mix
A drizzle of aged Balsamic vinegar
A drizzle of pomegranate molasses
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
A handful of raw peeled pistachios

1. Arrange a few basil leaves on a large plate. Chop a couple of leaves roughly and set aside.
2. Pull the cheese into long stripes and place on top of the basil in the plate.
3. Slice the cherry tomatoes lengthwise, and add to the plate.
4. Season lightly with salt, pepper. Drizzle lightly the Balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Scatter the chopped basil and the pistachios on top and serve.
P1050002P1050002 P1050002P1050002Colorful variation on Caprese Salad Ronit Penso

In this version, I’ve also added a few pieces of prosciutto. Worth repeating!
2. Slice the cherry tomatoes lengthwise, and add to the plate. 3. Season lightly with salt, pepper. Drizzle lightly the Balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Add the pistachios on top and serve.

50 thoughts on “Colorful variation on Caprese Salad”

  1. I love everything about your Caprese Salad and glad you made your own variations. Healthy, bright, tasty salad. What more do you need? Interesting that the mozzarella tasted different… pull vs. sliced but it make perfect sense.


  2. Pomegranate molasses sounds really interesting! I’ve never heard of it and I can’t wait to try it out! The salad looks beautiful and I love the pistachio nuts that add an extra crunch! 🙂


  3. Gorgeous use of colour, here, Ronit. I am definitely with you on the inclusion of balsamic in the recipe. I find it brings the sweetness and acid into balance. I’m intrigued for that reason about the pomegranate molasses. I can imagine the flavours but look forward to getting my hands on some to investigate. 🙂


    1. Thank you Dale! I’m glad you liked my colorful version. I use pomegranate molasses frequently, so thought it would be nice to add it for another subtle layer of acidity and sweetens to the salad. It worked great and now it’s my preferred version. 🙂


  4. Ronit it looks delicious and so elegant, and I love the fact that you “pulled” the cheese:-) I love mozzarella, I could eat it just with some vinegar and tomato 😀 or even without!


  5. I’ve been living on Caprese salads lately — it’s too hot to think about cooking and there’s just something so perfect about that combination. I really love the idea of adding pistachios — going to try that soon! I bet it’s fantastic.


  6. WOW! Glad I skittered back . . . was busy with DH in the hospital when you posted this, but certainly wouldn’t have wanted to have missed this great dish! The pomegranate molasses sound like a substitute for the very aged Balsamic vinegar that we had acquired in Oregon ten years ago. That stuff was addictive. Not much chance of finding it locally in the desert, but I have a computer with infinite mail order capabilities!

    Now the pulled mozzarella – that’s something I’ll need to try. It might be like slicing onions the long way for a different (better) flavor.

    I usually keep pistachios around, but kind of got tired of them and found I wasn’t using them. My supply is no more, so another thing to put on the mail order list.

    Thanks for the jog! ;->

    Virtual hugs,



    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked this “unorthodox” version of the salad. 🙂

      You’re right about the mozzarella – it’s really similar to slicing an onion on a different angle and producing a somewhat different taste.

      Hope you’ll be able to gather all the ingredients. It’s really so much easier today with the ability to order things online.

      Best wishes for fast recovery! 🙂


      1. I was born “unorthodox(ed)”. Recipes to me are only “suggestions”, or maybe, more stringently – “guidelines”! Well, except for cornbread and pancakes! ;->


      1. So I tried it! The good news: it was delicious, and yes, I think the mozzarella tastes better this way.
        The neutral (not really bad) news: I had a hard time pulling the cheese, it didn’t separate the nice way yours did. Nonetheless, I kept at it and more or less managed.
        I didn’t have pomegranate molasses so I left it out, and I was out of pistachio nuts, so left them out too. What I did have was fine and made a really delicious salad that looked beautiful and tasted great.


        1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m really glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the results. . 🙂

          As for the cheese – the freshest it is, the easier it is to “pull”.
          If you plan to make the salad again, you can replace the pistachios with any other nut – their crunchiness makes the salad even tastier. 🙂


  7. I’ve had the “original” version with just the olive oil and I’m with you, it really benefits from more flavour and texture. Your tip of pulling the cheese instead of cutting it …makes me really curious so I’m definitely going to try that next time I make this!
    Beautiful looking salad too, great photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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