This Caprese Salad is inspired by Mozza Pizzeria in Los Angeles, California. Slow-roasted tomatoes are served atop a bed of burrata cheese, a spoonful of fresh pesto and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
The thing I love about Italian food the most is the simplicity. Simple food made with incredible, fresh ingredients. That’s how I think of summer-y Italian food. And the caprese salad is no exception.
What’s In a Caprese Salad
Traditionally Caprese Salad is made with sliced summer tomatoes, sliced mozzarella, a few sprigs of fresh basil, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a few cracks of pepper. She’s a simple salad! This salad represents the colors of the Italian flag: red, green and white.
Mozza Pizzeria’s Caprese Salad
Now, let’s move onto Mozza Pizzeria’s caprese salad made by Chef Nancy Silverton. It’s glorious, if you’ve never had it. A big ball of burrata that’s made in-house is placed on a plate. On top of that is a few spoonfuls of hand-pounded pesto that’s made in a mortar and pestle. And then a few slow-roasted tomatoes–still on their vine–is added. Topped with a healthy glug of extra-virgin olive oil.
Video on How to Make a Caprese Salad
How to Make Caprese Salad
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Add the tomatoes to a baking dish and drizzle it with olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes, until very soft. Allow them to come to room temperature.
- Make the pesto: to a food processor add the pine nuts, garlic, Pecorino Romano and Parmesan-Reggiano. Pulse until they’re very ground up. And then add the basil and olive oil. Process one last time until it forms a pesto. Give it a taste test and then add a few pinches of salt, if needed. I didn’t need any because the Pecorino cheese can be quite salty.
- Plate it up! Add the burrata cheese to the bottom of a wide bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of pesto. And then the tomatoes on top. Lastly, drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil.
Tips and Tricks
- Cherry Tomatoes – these tomatoes were on the vine, but if yours aren’t, no biggie! Just spoon them on top of the burrata–it’ll still look pretty.
- Pesto – you can freeze any excess pesto in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.
If you make this salad, let me know on Instagram!
Looking for more recipes like this one? Here are a few that I love:
- Churros with Chocolate Sauce
- Pasta al Limone
- Pasta alla Nerano
- Cacio e Pepe Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 bunch small vine-ripe tomatoes (alternatively, you could use cherry tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 peeled garlic cloves
- 1 ounce Pecorino Romano
- 1 ounce Parmesan-Reggiano
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves plus a few more as garnish
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces burrata cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
To Slow-Roast the Tomatoes:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a baking dish, add the vine-ripened tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and top with a few pinches of salt.
- Transfer to the oven to roast for about 30 to 35 minutes, until they have released some juices and their skins are all wrinkly. Set aside to come to room temperature.
To Make the Pesto:
- In a food processor, add the pine nuts, garlic, Pecorino and Parmesan. Pulse until thoroughly combined and until it's all ground up. Add in the basil leaves and olive oil. Blend up one last time until it forms a pesto, about 30 seconds.
To Assemble the Salad:
- Add the burrata to a wide bowl. I like to spread it out into one even, thinnish layer. Add a spoonful or two of pesto. And then arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with a glug of olive oil. And serve with bread.
- Cherry Tomatoes - these tomatoes were on the vine, but if yours aren't, no biggie! Just spoon them on top of the burrata--it'll still look pretty.
- Pesto - you can freeze any excess pesto in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.