The perfect salad when you are pressed for time, or are featuring an Italian inspired main course, or simply want great flavor – Balsamic Glazed Caprese Salad! This salad could not be any simpler to make and it will add to any meal. Tonight, we decided that it would serve as a meal in itself. Tasty and low carb, the balsamic glaze is sweet with just a tang of vinegar. The fresh sweet basil leaves just go together perfectly with fresh mozzarella and vine-ripened tomatoes.
“Insalata Caprese” translates as Salad of Capri. Capri is a small island off the coast of Naples in Southern Italy. The salad appeared in the early 1900s and became an international menu item in the 1950s – today it has a become a staple salad in restaurants everywhere.
Some say it began as a way to please royalty and some say it was to please vacationers to the island. Some would argue it is a summer salad so that the freshness of the tomatoes and basil would be paramount. Today with the abundance of fresh tomatoes at any time of the year you can enjoy this delight in any season.
We have also heard that it was a patriotic creation. It does feature the colors of the Italian flag – red, white, and green. This is the case with many Italian recipes, from sandwiches to Pizza Margherita. Remember this point of trivia if you include this salad in your next “Italian theme party.”
Balsamic Glaze is Versatile and Delicious
Purists may argue that a true Caprese Salad should only have drizzled olive oil as a dressing – no vinegar! We do enjoy it with just olive oil and even some oregano or pepper shaken on the fresh mozzarella. However, more often in restaurants today, you will find this salad served with a delicious rich balsamic glaze. We love it that way!
Our balsamic glaze is so simple, yet so flavorful. Use a top quality balsamic vinegar and reduce it in a small saucepan over medium heat until about one-half remains. Although thickened, it should pour easily over your salad as it cools. If it becomes too thick you can simply microwave it for 10 seconds. Normally we do not add any sweetener to the glaze, but if you prefer you can add some Sukrin Gold if you want a sweeter glaze.
Balsamic glaze is so versatile. It can be used over chicken or pork dishes and is delicious when paired with ham. We previously posted our Sausage Stuffed Baby Portobellos with Manchego where we featured this balsamic glaze. A simple and delicious salad dressing can also be made by combining non-reduced balsamic vinegar with a top quality extra virgin olive oil. No cooking involved with that combination.
You can slice your tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella in advance and chill in the refrigerator while you make the glaze. Sometimes the juicy tomatoes will mix with the balsamic glaze and absorb a lot of that glaze. That is delicious, although it will affect your presentation. The fresh mozzarella will also absorb a lot of glaze.
Use as much basil and you like, it only adds to the sweetness of the dish and goes perfectly with the balsamic glaze. As we mentioned, if you are in a hurry you can always skip the glaze and just dress the salad with a top notch extra virgin olive oil and a little oregano. You can also top the dish with some fresh cracked pepper.
There are only 6 carbs per portion on this salad so it is very low. We did add just a small glass of our favorite cabernet sauvignon wine – a real treat!
The finished Balsamic Glazed Caprese Salad is simple to prepare and low in carbs. It is a treat for all of the senses. It is colorful and presents beautifully. The smell of the fresh sweet basil is alluring. And, you will hear many compliments from your guests. It is just a perfect Tasty Low Carb salad!
- 2 small Tomatoes (vine ripened, sliced)
- 8 Basil leaves (fresh)
- 8 ounces Buffalo mozzarella (sliced)
- 1 cup Balsamic vinegar (aged)
- Heat balsamic vinegar over medium heat in a small saucepan until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat and stir frequently for 20 minutes until reduced to one-half and it is thickened and with a syrup like texture.
- Slice fresh mozzarella and tomatoes to desired thickness - equal amounts of both. Top the tomatoes slices with fresh mozzarella and basil on a serving plate.
- Drizzle balsamic glaze over the top of the salad.