Summer Caprese Salad or Sandwich

What is Caprese?   I learned it is a great combination of flavors that taste especially light and healthy when it is hot outside and tomatoes are fresh!  Caprese means a salad in the style of “Capri”.  From Italy, it is a simple salad made with mozzarella cheese, tomato and basil. 

I have seen versions of this salad in many Food Network and other television cooking shows and in many magazines. I realized which flavors I liked, and that I could use them in a salad or in a sandwich.  As I have mentioned before, you can adjust amounts to your taste and what you have available. This is my version, depending on what ingredients I usually have in the fridge.

Summer Caprese Salad 

1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half to bite size pieces)

1/4 cup diced mozzarella cheese (any variety)

3 Tablespoons olive oil (approximate)

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1-3 cloves of garlic (chopped)

3 leaves of fresh basil (chopped or torn)

Mix ingredients and let sit for 2-3 minutes till the flavors really combine well. Enjoy!

Tips:  Suggestions if you don’t have exact ingredients…..

  • You can use pieces of mozzarella string cheese cut to bite size.
  • You can use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder instead of fresh.
  • You can use a squirt of basil from packaged basil in a tube.
  • You can chop up any kind of regular tomato instead of the cherry tomatoes.

 

Summer Caprese Sandwich

Toasted bun or 2 slices of favorite bread

1 thick slice of tomato

1 thick slice of mozzarella cheese

2-3 basil leaves (leave whole)

1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Sprinkle of garlic powder (optional – especially if at work!)

Mayonnaise (optional)

Assemble ingredients onto the toasted bread or bun. I like a thin spread of mayonnaise on my bread, but it is optional.  Drizzle the balsamic vinegar carefully. It may be a little messy, but it’s sooo worth it!

Tips:

  • For lower sodium content, I do not add salt and pepper to the salad or sandwich.  There is plenty of flavor without!
  • If you like onion, you can add that to this sandwich.
  • For variety, you can add a slice of bacon and slice of lettuce to make a BLT with mozzarella.
  • For transporting to work for a great homemade lunch – take mozzarella and tomato in the balsamic vinegar (marinating in a small plastic zip bag). Place in your work fridge until ready to eat, then place on bread. Taste is amazing because it has marinated for a few hours and no soggy sandwich!

 

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