Summer is the perfect time to break out the tomato recipes, and this one will be a hit wherever you go! It's perfectly suited for a potluck, or to whip up before a quick jaunt to the park. What I love most about this salad is how easy it is to customize to your family's tastes and preferences. Oh, I will let you in on a little secret: this Summer Tomato Caprese Salad is actually called, "Brian's Salad" in these here parts. That's right. My husband has claimed this salad as his after I threw in all his favorite veggies and created this salad many years ago.
Here are the basic ingredients. Though I did not include the pepperoncinis in the basic ingredient photo, I almost always add pepperoncinis or pickled jalapenos to the basic recipe. You can use any Italian dressing, but my family really loves the flavor of the Good Seasons brand. In a pinch, I have made my own by combining balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cracked pepper and salt. I go heavy on the dressing, allowing the veggies and cheese to marinate for an hour or so before eating.
Look at the bright colors in this beautiful salad!
Like I said, it is very easy to customize. Sometimes I add salami, artichokes, cucumber and/or yellow diced peppers. Other times, I'll stir in some finely diced jalapenos. I almost always sneak in some pepperoncini juice to the salad dressing to give it some extra zing. And if I don't have basil, I'll add pesto to the dressing. Other variations: Go Greek and sub feta cheese for the mozzarella and add some cucumbers. You can also sub cilantro for the basil! One time, I even served this salad alongside a bowl of chopped romaine lettuce, so that salad-eaters could lay down some lettuce on their plates and pour this yummy concoction on top. An instant green salad! You can use any vinegar, but I will tell you now that balsamic is simply divine. What I also love about this salad, is that it will stay fresh in the fridge for a few days! So if you have leftovers, save 'em for tomorrow! For a printable copy of this recipe, click here.
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as my family does! Please let me know how you decide to customize it!