Not only is it easy to make, nevertheless, this Easy Caprese Salad with Spinach is also light, refreshing, and has that perfect amount of tang! Softballs of mozzarella, juicy sweet tomatoes, and chiffonade-cut spinach tossed in a bright dressing that can be enjoyed right away or meal-prepped a day in advance.
Why is it called Caprese salad?
Pronounced [kah-PRAY-say] is a simple salad made from a few simple ingredients like basil, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and a light drizzle of dressing. The name comes from southern Italy’s island called Capri in the Gulf of Naples.
What’s in the Salad?
This Caprese salad recipe uses simple ingredients like:
Pearl mozzarella cheese- adds the perfect saltiness and creaminess to the salad.
Grape tomatoes- will marinate in the dressing and will release some of its own juices— adding another depth of flavor. If you don’t have grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes will also work.
Spinach- gives this salad that hint of green, a light crunch, and can help to bulk-up the salad.
Basil– you can use fresh or dried. Basil is the traditional herb of choice for this salad. Whether you use fresh or dried, just remember this—one tablespoon of fresh herb to 1 tsp of dried herb.
Hence, once you have the essential ingredients for your Caprese salad, you can either do one of two things:
(A) drizzle the salad with balsamic reduction.
(B) drizzle an herb(y) lemony pomegranate dressing over it.
I’m going for B .
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup packed fresh spinach
- 1 cup mini mozzarella pearls
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp dried basil or 1-2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
- ¼ tso kosher salt or salt to taste
- Slice each tomato in half. When ready, grab the spinach and stack each leaf on top of one another, roll the stack, and cut thin strips creating chiffonade cuts of spinach.
- In a large bowl, add the mozzarella pearls, tomatoes, and spinach, set aside. Now we will make the dressing.
Make the dressing:
- In a mixing bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients—lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pomegranate molasses, basil of choice, and mix until an emulsified dressing forms. I like to mix for about a solid minute. This helps puncture the basil and ensures the salt is evenly distributed throughout the dressing.
Put it all together:
- Drizzle about 1/4 cup of the dressing over the salad and gently toss until each ingredient is generously coated well.
- Serve and enjoy right away.