The ingredients for this dish are very simple, so get the freshest and best you can.

Yield: 2-4 servings

Time: 20 minutes


  • small plates
  • knife


  • 1½ c mozzarella, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large bunch basil, stems removed, or several T pistou
  • ¼-½ red onion, finely diced
  • ¼ c good olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T dried, crushed oregano
  • Salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper


Arrange tomatoes and cheese in an alternating line, or make towers with a slice of each.

Basil – either keep the leaves whole or julienne them, then arrange over the tomatoes and cheese.
Pistou – dot it here and there on the tomatoes and cheese.

Sprinkle the diced onion over the caprese.

Drizzle with oil and vinegar.

Sprinkle with oregano, salt, and pepper.

Serve immediately, with bread.


The onion and vinegar are both optional; if you have exceptionally flavorful tomatoes and mozz, they don’t need anything but some olive oil to finish.

If you can’t find or make good vegan mozzarella, you can make a mediocre cheese a bit tastier by marinating it in a couple extra T of balsamic vinegar.

For a picnic or buffet, you might prefer dicing everything up and mixing it into a salad rather than dealing with the individual "towers" of caprese.

Caprese is short for insalata caprese, which is Italian for "Capri-style salad."


Abbreviations  |  Conversions  |  Cooking tips

Insalata caprese