Caprese is a summertime classic with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Try these delicious variations on the traditional salad plate for an exciting change of pace.

Get slicers or heirloom tomatoes from various vendors at the Market. Tulip Tree Creamery has fresh mozzarella and several vendors have bunches of fresh basil. Use flavored salts from Circle City Smoke for added nuance; and flavored oils and vinegars from Artisano’s Oils & Spices to enhance the character of each of these dishes.

Classic Caprese Plate

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 tomatoes, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

To assemble the salad, alternate a tomato slice with a slice of fresh mozzarella and a few basil leaves, making a low row or a circle. Sprinkle the salad with the smoked sea salt then drizzle generously with the olive oil and balsamic.

Whether you’re already a fan of caprese or you’ve never heard of it before, you’ll love these scrumptious twists on the Italian classic. Note the recommendations from David Burcham of Artisano’s Oils & Spices.

  • Crispy Fried Caprese SaladSometimes you gotta have the crunch. This version fries the tomatoes as counterpoint to the creamy mozz and fresh basil. (Artisano’s 18-Year Aged Balsamic with Basil Olive Oil, 3 parts balsamic to 2 parts oil)
  • Caramelized Peach CapreseSubstitute caramelized peaches for the tomatoes in this tasty variation. It makes a great sweet/savory dessert. (Artisano’s Dark Chocolate  Balsamic with Blood Orange Olive Oil, 3 parts balsamic to 2 parts oil)  
  • Caprese BurgerPickled cherry tomatoes and basil mayo make this spin on the traditional salad plate into a yummy Italian burger great for grilling. (Artisano’s Estilo Affinato Di Modena, rich and thick balsamic)  
  • Eggplant & Tomato NapoleonsThese gorgeous stacks are great grilled appetizers or side dishes to go with a steak, fish fillet, chicken breast or pork chop. (Artisano’s 18-Year Aged Balsamic with Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, 3 parts balsamic to 2 parts oil)
  • Caprese PanzanellaRustic panzanella is a perfect summer salad and you can use up the artisan breads you get at the Market when they’re a few days old. (Artisano’s Estilo Affinato Di Modena, with Basil Olive Oil, 3 parts balsamic to 2 parts oil) 
  • Super Summery PastaThere’s nothing quicker for a weeknight supper than pasta with a few fresh ingredients tossed in. This one makes caprese into a meal. (Artisano’s Neopolitan Balsamic with Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, 3 parts balsamic to 2 parts oil)