Caprese Salad with Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette or Summer on a Plate

Caprese Salad With Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette

I have a new morning smoothy.  It is called Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Not really.  But I did have salad for breakfast this morning because I couldn’t wait until lunch to have more of this dressing.  It is so good.  I really did want to drink it.  But I refrained, I just drizzled it over this Caprese Salad.  Okay, I may have slathered the salad with dressing.  But I went running this morning.  And that, in my opinion, means I can be a little heavy-handed with my breakfast dressing.  Actually running in the morning may be a bad thing, as now I can justify almost anything I put in my mouth during the day.  Somehow I think this defeats the purpose of exercising.  But I don’t want to be quick to jump to conclusions.

Caprese Salad With Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette

This salad is the perfect vehicle for the Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Traditionally, Caprese Salad consists of slices of tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil alternately layered together and drizzled with olive oil. Instead, in this salad, tiny little mozzarella balls are paired with sweet cherry tomatoes on a bed of baby greens and arugula. The cheese immediately absorbs the vinaigrette, and between the fresh garden flavor of the basil leaves, and the sweet tomatoes, it is one of the best salads I have ever eaten.  It is definitely a new favorite.

Caprese Salad With Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette

It is so simple to make, too.  You just place the 2 kinds of lettuce on the plate, slice the cheese and tomatoes in half, place on top of the greens, and mix up the dressing.  When ready to serve, chop up your fresh basil (it gets kind of black around the edges if you chop it up too far ahead of time), and drizzle the vinaigrette over all, ending with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper.

Caprese Salad With Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette

We ate this with spaghetti, but it would also go great with the pizza I posted last week. The taste really is like summer on a plate.  And since summer doesn’t end in Arizona for another 2 months, all the more time to enjoy this fresh tasting breakfast smoothie, I mean salad. 🙂

Caprese Salad With Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Caprese Salad With Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

For the Salad:

  • 1/2 of a 5 oz. bag of baby lettuce
  • 1/4 of a 7 oz. bag of arugula
  • 1 lb. grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 lb. Ciliegine (cherry-sized mozzarella balls)
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves, sliced in thin strips
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette (see below)
  1. Drain Ciliegine and let them dry for a minute on a paper towel.
  2. Wash grape tomatoes.
  3. Slice cheese and tomatoes in half.
  4. Layer both kinds of lettuces on a large plate.
  5. Alternately arrange cheese and tomatoes in rows on top of the lettuce.
  6. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Make dressing, cover, and place in refrigerator.
  8. When ready to serve, slice basil, and sprinkle over salad.
  9. Drizzle dressing over everything, and top with ground black pepper.
  10. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator.

For the Dressing:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/4 c plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. pepper
  1. Mince garlic and place in large mason jar.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Place lid on jar, and shake until smooth and blended.
  4. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use. (This makes quite a bit of dressing, but I like to keep the rest for salads during the week.)

Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, adapted from Lauren’s Latest 




About Shari

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them! (
This entry was posted in Company, Italian, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Summer Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Caprese Salad with Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette or Summer on a Plate

  1. Connie rice says:

    This looks delishious! I can’t wait to try it!

  2. jessicahessler says:

    Looks so gorgeous! Yum!

    • Shari says:

      Thanks a lot, Jessica! I love the vibrant colors of this salad. It is just fun to eat, as well as tasting good. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  3. That looks amazing! I love tomatoes, I love mozzarella, I love arugula and I love basil. What a treat! 🙂

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Ana! You would absolutely love this salad then. I loved the addition of the arugula. It gave it even more flavor than it already had, which was a lot. I appreciate your comment!

  4. nancyc says:

    What a beautiful salad–and the dressing sounds great!

    • Shari says:

      Thanks so much, Nancy! The dressing was the icing on the cake. There is so much flavor going on in this salad. I hope you are enjoying your weekend. Appreciate you stopping by!

  5. Teresa says:

    Wow, Shari, this salad looks absolutely awesome! Definitely making this!

    • Shari says:

      Thanks a lot, Teresa! The colors are so bright and the flavors very pronounced. It was a pleasure to make and eat. I hope you enjoy it if you try it!

  6. ZazaCook says:

    A healthy and delicious salad! Yummy!!

    • Shari says:

      Thanks so much, Zaza. I think it is pretty healthy if you don’t use as much dressing as I do! 🙂 I just briefly stopped by your blog, but am looking forward to checking it out more. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  7. cheri says:

    Hi Shari, this salad looks so fresh and delicious, I could eat the whole thing myself, this is summer on a plate.

    • Shari says:

      Thanks, Cheri! I could, too. It really is fresh tasting due to the basil, I think. How is Oregon treating you this summer? I bet it is just gorgeous there right now. It is pretty humid here, but not too many monsoons lately. Every summer is so different. I appreciate you stopping by!

  8. Now this is a fancy caprese! I just toss it all in the bowl ad sinora, let’s eat! It definitely says hello summer!

  9. I burst out laughing a the phrase “breakfast dressing”. Never in my life have I seen those two words used together. That whole first paragraph was such fun to read.

    As for this delicious salad and “breakfast dressing”, it looks DEE-LISH! How perfect for summer. I cannot wait to try this.

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Ruth! So glad you enjoyed the post. I have never really used the term breakfast dressing before, but I think I may have discovered a new way to kick start your day! 🙂 I hope you like the salad. It is definitely a new favorite. I hope your summer is going great!

  10. Cultivate Wellness says:

    Great looking salad! I grew up in AZ but am living in MN. I love the photos on your blog! Makes me think of “home”.

    • Shari says:

      Thank you so much, Melanie! It must have been a shock going from Arizona to MN. They are so different. I have never been to MN before, but I would love to visit it sometime. I picture lots of green and lots of water. I’m so glad you enjoy the photos, and that it reminds you of your time here. I appreciate you stopping by and saying hi!

  11. This looks so delicious..! I love the vibrant colors!

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