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Italy – The Caprese Salad

Nothing is more enjoyable on a hot summer afternoon than a plate of Caprese Salad with tasty red tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil just picked from the garden! Chances are you’ve had this delicious treat before, but do you know its history?

There is a lot of mystery surrounding the creator of Italy’s favorite salad, but we know one thing for sure; it was first seen on the menu at Quisisana Hotel on the Island of Capri in 1920, just after World War One. Most likely, a very patriotic cook whipped up this salad for the first time in honor of his country. The Caprese Salad is comprised of the colors of the Italian national flag, green, white and red.  

Referred to as il Tricolore, the colors of the Italian flag are said to
represent hope (green), faith (white) and charity (red).

Island of Capri in Italy

Caprese Salad Antipasto (Appetizer)


8 ounces cherry tomatoes
8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
1 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Large toothpicks or small skewers

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Wash the tomatoes and basil. Assemble a cherry tomato, mozzarella ball and basil leaf for every skewer you want to make.  

  2. Insert the skewer through the tomato, basil and mozzarella, positioning the items securely, and leaving room to pick up the skewer later.

  3. Assemble the Caprese skewers on a plate and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. To make a balsamic glaze, in a small pan, heat one cup of balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat. Stirring occasionally, allow the vinegar to come to a very gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes syrupy in consistency. Be careful not to burn the vinegar. Allow the glaze to cool, then drizzle on top of your skewers.

If you’d like to make a more portable version of Caprese, you can assemble and shake up all the ingredients in a medium size container with a lid. It makes an easy snack to take to a picnic, dinner at a friend’s house or any special event.