Italian Flag Salad (Caprese)

"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 This is my little adaptation of the classic Caprese salad...everything is the same except that the fresh basil has been replaced by purchased (or homemade if you have it on hand) pesto sauce.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."
photo by Sandi From CA photo by Sandi From CA
photo by Sandi From CA
photo by Sandi From CA photo by Sandi From CA
photo by Bippie photo by Bippie
photo by Wildflour photo by Wildflour
Ready In:




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

Questions & Replies

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  1. 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.
  2. 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!!
  3. Mmmm! After making Kittencal's Recipe #144195, (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!
  4. That's it, the old tomato-mozzarella-basil recipe is out the window. Pesto works SO well in this! I mixed the pesto in to make sure everything was covered in it and omitted the extra olive oil - delicious, delicious!! Ev, you're a genius.
  5. This was excellent & I even had to get creative. Didn't have fresh mozzarella balls, so I used a gratin mix of shredded mozzarella & gouda. I "nuked" the cheese just to soften & allow them to be well combined. I formed the mix into a log, refrigerated it & then sliced it for the tomatoes & topped w/my red pesto. Yum!


<style>body { background: url(""); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
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