Caprese 2 Ways!

By Published On: July 2nd, 2023Categories: Salad2 Comments on Caprese 2 Ways!

I’m sure you’ve made Tomato Caprese, aka Insalata Caprese, salad before, but I decided to try it with watermelon instead of tomato. My good friend Brenna Reilly said she has made Caprese with Papaya…that sounds delicious, too.

The first origin for this iconic Italian salad or antipasti dates back to post-WWI Italy. A patriotic mason wanted to make a dish true to Italy’s most favorite ingredients, and visually incorporating the tricolor into the presentation. Although the name derives from Capri, as that is where it was first created, it is really the ingredients: tomato, mozzarella, basil, olive oil that are staples in Capri that made this dish so popular.

This is how it is traditionally served. Notice, no balsamic. Traditionally the balsamic is not always used.

The name literally means ‘Salad of Capri’. The salad first appeared on the menu of the Hotel Quisisana, which is still going strong today. You can book a Superior Double room for 1500 Euros/night, but it is fully booked until September so please plan in advance. If you want a bit more space, book the Premier Deluxe Double room for 2585 Euros/night. OR go crazy and book a Junior Suite for just over 3000 Euros/night.

And here is the traditional Tomato Caprese made with tomatoes. Hard to tell the difference, isn’t it?

I also thought watermelon would be a good choice as it is super juicy and looks like a tomato when sliced into rounds…kind of a play to confuse the taste buds.

This salad does not require a recipe. Simply slice the watermelon about 1/2 inch thick and using a biscuit or round cookie cutter, cut into rounds.

Liberally salt both sides of the watermelon rounds. Top with a nice aged balsamic or I used a Blood Orange Balsamic glaze, a drizzle of olive oil, Buffalo mozzarella, and chiffonade of fresh basil. That’s it!

It’s an unexpected and delightful bite either as a first course or served along with your main.

Please let me know what fruit you decide to use to make a non-traditional Tomato Caprese!


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  1. Brenna Reilly July 2, 2023 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Love this! And was thinking maybe strawberry???

    • Cindy Rabbitt July 2, 2023 at 2:31 pm - Reply

      Love it! Let’s try it!

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