This simple caprese salad served with basil oil is a wonderful way to showcase your beautiful summer tomatoes and abundant fresh basil. It’s keto, low carb, and gluten free, so it works with almost any diet plan – and it’s pretty enough to impress your guests!
Caprese salad is a classic Italian dish that has been enjoyed for generations. This is a simple yet flavorful recipe that is perfect for summer days when fresh tomatoes are in season. This salad is not only delicious, but also packed with health benefits that make it a great addition to your diet.
What is a Caprese Salad?
Caprese salad originated in the island of Capri, Italy, in the 1950s. It was created to showcase the colors of the Italian flag – red, white, and green. The salad consists of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
The simplicity of the dish has made it a favorite among Italians, and it has since become a popular dish worldwide.
- The word “Caprese” means “from Capri,” the island where the salad was created.
- Traditional Caprese salad is made with buffalo mozzarella, which is creamier and more flavorful than regular mozzarella.
- The salad is traditionally served as an antipasto, or appetizer, but can also be served as a main course or side dish.
Health Benefits of Caprese Salad:
Caprese salad is not only delicious but also packed with health benefits. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that protects against cancer and heart disease. Mozzarella cheese is a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Basil leaves contain essential oils that have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. And we all know that olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can eat.
So literally everything on this plate is good for you!
Why it’s Good for Keto:
Caprese salad is an excellent choice for those on a keto diet. It is low in carbs and high in healthy fats, and also filling and satisfying, making it a healthy option for anyone looking to lose weight.
Tomatoes do contain carbs, but by slicing them thinner and using a higher ratio of cheese to tomato in this salad, it remains very keto friendly.
What to Serve Caprese Salad With:
Caprese salad is a versatile dish that can be served with many different foods. It is often served with crusty bread, but for those on a keto diet, it can be served with roasted vegetables, grilled chicken, or even steak.
Here are some pairing suggestions:
How to Store Leftovers:
Caprese salad is best served fresh, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. Make sure to keep the salad separate from any bread or other foods that may cause it to become soggy.
- I used heirloom tomatoes in a variety of colors in my caprese salad, but you can use any ripe tomatoes you have on hand.
- I opted to use a basil oil rather than layer basil leaves between my slices, but you can add the leaves to it and still use the basil oil (I’ve never heard of too much basil honestly) or you can use the leaves of basil and simply drizzle with olive oil in the classic style.
- If you don’t care about the layered presentation, this caprese salad can be made in a bowl with chopped tomatoes, chopped mozzarella , and then toss it in the basil oil to serve.
- The basil oil calls for a teaspoon of white balsamic vinegar which gives it a sweet tanginess. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, you can use regular balsamic vinegar or an apple cider vinegar. If you opt for apple cider vinegar you may want to add a teaspoon of sweetener to it. I recommend tasting it first and then decide to add it or not.
More Caprese Themed Recipes:
Chicken Caprese Skillet – SkinnyTaste
Fried Caprese Salad – Bell’ alimento