Italian Flag Salad (Caprese)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 0 mins

So elegant and so simple. This is my little adaptation of the classic Caprese salad...everything is the same except that the fresh basil has been replaced by purchased (or homemade if you have it on hand) pesto sauce. I like this version more because I think the salty/garlicky/nutty pesto does more for the other two ingredients.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Make sure you serve this on a white platter!
  2. Wash and dry the tomatoes.
  3. Remove the stem and cut into slices, approximately 1/2 inch thick, lengthwise.
  4. Arrange slices decoratively on platter.
  5. Drizzle with just the barest amount of olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt (sea salt is wonderful!) and coarsely ground, FRESH black pepper.
  6. Cut the mozzarella into slices approximately 1/3 inch thick and arrange 1 slice of cheese per slice of tomato.
  7. (the mozzarella balls available in Greece are pretty small- maybe 3-4oz).
  8. What you want is a white slice of cheese just covering the tomato slice, but with the red of the tomato peeking through.
  9. Dot each mozzarella round with 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of pesto.
  10. Serve with lots of crusty bread!
Most Helpful

Brilliant idea to use pesto! I always have pesto on hand but I don't always have fresh basil. We eat this all the time in the summer months and everyone that's tried it prefers it this way. It's simple to make and very flavorful. Thank you for sharing this.

Daniela July 08, 2011

This recipe was so easy and so delicious! I love the idea of using pesto rather than plain basil. Put it out during an outdoor party and it was gone in 5 minutes flat! Thanks Ev. As always, a great post!!

Catherine Wall June 28, 2010

Mmmm! After making Kittencal's Kittencal's Perfect Pesto, (which I highly recommend), I'll never go for store-bought again... unless my herd o' basil plants dies on me. ;) Anyway, this was absolutely delicious! I added just a touch of balsamic vinegar to mine and some fresh ground tri-colored pepper, then gobbled them up like I hadn't eaten in months. This morning, I'm eating them, as I type, for breakfast! So simple and packed full of flavor. Thank you for such a great dish, Evelyn!

Sandi (From CA) July 26, 2007