Caprese Salad Bowl with Tomato, Mozzarella & Avocado for One
As I mostly work from home, I often eat lunch alone. Mostly I have an omelette or something on toast, but occasionally it’s nice to make a bit more of an effort. Not that this Caprese salad bowl with avocado and lettuce is much of an effort. Juicy ripe homegrown tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, avocado, crisp lettuce and some peppery olive oil is pretty much all this salad is, but oh my, it sure has a wow factor and it’s perfect for a light summer lunch or side dish.
As the name suggests, this famous Italian salad, Insalata Caprese, comes from the Isle of Capri. Other than this known fact, all bets are off. There’s a story of it dating back to World War I when it was invented by a patriotic mason to represent the colours of the Italian flag; another came about when King Farouk of Egypt asked for an afternoon snack whilst exiled in Capri in the 1950s and received a bun stuffed with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.
The original Caprese salad was allegedly made with cow’s milk mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil and garnished with fresh oregano and rocket. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but these days it’s basil that makes up the green element of this colourful dish. Slices of tomato and mozzarella are laid out on a plate with basil scattered over them and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s usually served as a starter.
As Caprese salad is so simple and has very few ingredients, they all need to be tip top. Get the best ripe and juicy tomatoes you can find. Large or small, it doesn’t matter, it’s the flavour you’re after. Buffola mozzarella cheese is richer than that made from cows, it’s easy to get hold of fresh basil and the olive oil should be cold pressed and flavoursome.
I used the first of our homegrown tomatoes for this recipe – red ‘Latah’, ‘Indigo Rose’ and golden ‘Ildi”. It’s very exciting to be able to grow tomatoes once again – a few years have elapsed since we’ve produced anything worthwhile. We also grew the lettuce, basil and chives. We’ve only made a small start on the garden this year, but our small harvest has nevertheless been most satisfying.
Caprese Salad Bowl with Avocado and Lettuce for One
Some people can get very sniffy about messing around with this Italian classic, so if you’re one of those, best not go any further. My Caprese salad bowl has additions. I was served insalata Caprese in a bonafide Italian restaurant once. It had slices of avocado laid out between the mozzarella and tomatoes and was one of the best starters I’ve ever had. Don’t worry about using half a mozzarella ball. The other half will keep perfectly well in the fridge until the next day as will the remaining avocado, if well wrapped. No salt needed for this zingy summer salad, but you can always add a pinch if you feel you need to.
This gorgeous caprese salad bowl was so good, I ate it just as it was for lunch. The next day I had it again. You can of course double the quantities for two people, which would result in no leftover cheese or avocado. For something a bit more substantial, some good bread to mop up the juices would make an excellent accompaniment. In fact CT and I have enjoyed this for supper on many an occasion this summer.
Caprese Salad Bowl with Avocado and Lettuce for One – The Recipe
- 3 medium tomatoes or 6 to 8 smaller ones make sure they are ripe and juicy
- ½ mozzarella ball - drained
- ½ an avocado - peeled
- 3-4 crisp lettuce leaves
- 6 basil leaves - torn
- a few chives - snipped
- ½ lemon - juiced
- good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Tear the lettuce leaves and place at the bottom of a bowl.
- Cut the avocado and tomatoes into chunks and lay over the lettuce.
- Tear the mozzarella into pieces and scatter on top of the tomatoes.
Throw in the herbs then squeeze the lemon juice over everything. Lastly drizzle on a little olive oil.
The unused mozzarella and avocado will keep perfectly well in the fridge until the next day if well wrapped.
No salt needed for this zingy summer salad, but you can always add a pinch if you feel you need to.
Other summer salad recipes you might like
- Fattoush salad via Charlotte’s Livley Kitchen
- Fennel salad via Tin and Thyme
- Kohlrabi carrot slaw (vegan) via Tin and Thyme
- Lemon cucumbers and jam jar salad dressing via Kavey Eats
- Mediterranean chickpea salad with feta via My Gorgeous Recipes
- Quinoa, watercress, walnut and blue cheese salad with roasted asparagus via Tin and Thyme
- Sicilian pasta salad (vegan) via Tin and Thyme
- Summer Greek pasta salad (vegan) via Tinned Tomatoes
- Summer quinoa salad with lemon vinaigrette (vegan) via Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
- Tomato, red onion & coriander salad via Fab Food 4 All
- Vegetarian salade Niçoise via Tin and Thyme
- Vermicelli salad with garlic & lime dressing via The Foodie Journey
I’m sharing my Caprese salad bowl with #CookBlogShare which is noted by Gluterama this week.