Classic Caprese Salad gets the All American Red, White and Blue touch with Fresh Berries
Want to know how to take a classic salad and dress it up (or down) for your All American Holiday celebration? It’s all about the colors. More specifically, the red, white and blue. I think you’ll love this Red White and Blue Caprese Salad. The original taken to a whole new level of deliciousness!
For as long as I can remember, the classic Caprese Salad has been my favorite and most frequent go-to dish for easy entertaining. I would make it in my tiny college dorm to impress my fellow starved students and it continues to be a popular choice any time my sisters and I get together. It looks so classy and yet it’s so easy to make. It’s ridiculous how much praise this salad receives, when you consider the only skills required are finding high quality ingredients and having basic knife skills (i.e. being able to hold the knife and slicing a tomato and mozzarella without injuring yourself). Hey, I’m not complaining. I’m all about easy entertaining with dishes that only look and taste like I spent lots of time in the kitchen. I happily accept the rave reviews.
Italian Heritage with an American Touch
Insalata Caprese – the salad of Capri- is a patriotic culinary creation of the early 20th century from the small island of Capri, off the coast of Naples. The best ingredients of the region were arranged on a plate to resemble the Italian flag and to this day, we can’t get enough of it. The vibrant combination of the white creamy mozzarella cheese, red vine ripened juicy tomatoes and fragrant fresh green basil, as legend has it, was created to please the palates of vacationing royalty and celebrities. I bet they were just as impressed by this fancy looking salad back then as we are today. Capri is on my ‘travel someday list’ and when I finally “Make Someday Happen” and get there, you can bet the first thing I intend to do is enjoy this fresh summer salad while checking out the spectacular views and bright blue waters of the Amalfi Coast.
For 4th of July, I gave the Caprese Salad the patriotic All-American Red, White and Blue touch with the addition of ripe strawberries and sweet blueberries. You can say it’s my “Americana Insalata Caprese” and oh my! I didn’t think this classic Italian salad could be made any better. The berries give it a beautiful sweetness that contrasts the tangy tomato and pairs so well with the balsamic reduction. You can say this salad represents the blending of cultures which is one of the things I love most about our country.
Red White and Blue Caprese Salad Ingredients
Splurge on high quality ingredients. The simplicity of this salad allows them to shine. Although measurements are provided in the recipe, you can measure to your taste and use as much or as little of each as you would like.
^ Vine Ripened Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes
^ Fresh Mozzarella in a large ball or small pearls
^ Fresh Strawberries
^ Fresh Blueberries
^ Balsamic Vinegar
^ Extra Virgin Olive Oil
^ Fresh Basil
^ Natural Honey
^ Fresh Cracked Pepper
^ Sea Salt
The original Caprese Salad recipe only received a touch of olive oil drizzle, however, the balsamic reduction, given an extra hint of sweetness with the addition of natural honey, is in my opinion one of the best ways to dress this salad and give it a fun zip of flavor. Don’t despair if you’re not feeling up to making the reduction, which is the only time consuming step. Simply buy prepared balsamic glaze in a bottle at your favorite store. There are some great brands made with Balsamic vinegar from Modena Italy, which has a deep rich flavor. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Beverage Pairing: Red White & Blue Berry Sangria and Red White & Blue Caprese Salad
It wouldn’t be a celebration without a fun beverage pairing. One of my favorite ways to drink wine during the hot days of summer is in a sangria. Since I was on a Red, White and Blue roll, I took the extra strawberries and blueberries and tossed them in a mason jar with moscato wine, topped with berry seltzer water for a bit of fizz. So simple, so yummy! That’s Easy Entertaining! A Red White and Blue Berry Sangria!
Dress It Up or Dress It Down…this Red White and Blue Caprese Salad is versatile!
The best part about this Red White and Blue Caprese Salad is that you can dress it down for a BBQ to feed a large crowd by using cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella pearls, and simply tossing all the ingredients together in a pretty bowl. Or, you can dress it up for a fancy dinner party by slicing the vine ripened tomatoes and large fresh mozzarella ball and stacking the ingredients on nice china, finishing with a drizzle of the best olive oil you can get your hands on. It’s so versatile!
Either way, whether dressed down in shorts and tees or fancied up with your party stilettos, I hope you will get together with family and friends and enjoy this Red White and Blue Caprese Salad as you celebrate our beautiful country, the freedoms we enjoy, the diversity of our people, and all the great reasons why we love the United States of America. God bless America!
Check out all of these awesome Easy Entertaining Recipes from the tastemakers of the Sunday Supper Movement! Perfect for your next All American Party!
- Honey Berry Blue Cheese Ball by Magnolia Days
- How to make Chicken Yakitori in Skewers for #SundaySupper by Asian In America
America the Beautiful Beverages
Raise the Flag Breakfasts
- Breakfast Cake Stars with Strawberry Syrup by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Red, White, and Blue Berrylicious Smoothie Bowl by The Hungry Goddess
For the Red, White and Blue Salads and Main Dishes
- Bang Bang Pork Chops by Wholistic Woman
- Blueberry and Watermelon Arugula Salad by A Mind Full Mom
- Blueberry Barbecue Sauce for Red, White and Blue Chicken Skewers by Caroline’s Cooking
- Firecracker Hot Dogs by Sunday Supper Movement
- Founder’s Mac and Cheese by Cooking Chat
- Pumped Up Potato Salad by Food Lust People Love
- Red Hot Chicken and Blue Cheese Bites by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Red White & Blue Caprese Salad by Go Epicurista
- Red White and Blue Fruit Salad by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Red, White, and Blue Salad by Simple and Savory
- Watermelon Salad with Feta & Blueberries by Monica’s Table
- Yankee Doodle Noodle Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Oh Say Can You See Desserts
- All-American Patriotic Dessert Tarts by Family Around The Table
- Berry Cheesecake Flag Dessert by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cherry Vanilla Poke Cake by Cookin’ Mimi
- Easy (No Bake!) Two Bite Berry Pies by Cooking With Carlee
- Firecracker Muddy Buddies by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Flag Fruit Pizza by Dash of Evans
- Homemade Snow Cones by Palatable Pastime
- Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars by Alida’s Kitchen
- Patriotic Smoothie Pops by Crazed Mom
- Red, White, and Blue Berry Pound Cake Bites by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Red, White and Blue Fruit Kabob Flag by La Bella Vita Cucina
- Red, White, and Blue Fruit Tart by Life Tastes Good
- Red, White and Blue Granita by Dessert Geek
- Red, White, and Blue M&M Cookies by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Red White and Blue Parfaits by Desserts Required
- Red, White and Blue Popsicles by Our Good Life
- Red, White, and Blue Rice Krispie Treats by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Red, White and Blue Shooting Stars by The Freshman Cook
- Red White and Blue Strawberries with Chantilly Cream by Pine Needles In My Salad
- Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake by Pies and Plots
- Rosemary Cookies with Tomato Jam by The Finer Cookie
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- 1 each Vine Ripe Tomato (For large quantity, use cherry tomatoes)
- 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella (For large quantity use mozzarella pearls)
- 1/2 cup Blueberries
- 1 cup Strawberries Sliced
- 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar Reduced
- 1 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Natural Honey
- 1 bunch Fresh Basil Leaves
- pinch Fresh Cracked Pepper
- pinch Sea Salt
Slice tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into equal slices, about 1/4" thick.
Slice strawberries lengthwise.
Have fun with plating. Arrange slices alternating the tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, strawberries, whole basil leaves and blueberries or create a stacked tower.
Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
Drizzle with balsamic reduction and olive oil lightly.
For best flavor, allow the salad to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
If you prefer to make this salad for a large group, use cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearl balls and all other ingredients listed and toss in a bowl with the balsamic reduction and olive oil.
In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil
Stir in honey until well blended
Reduce heat to simmer over medium heat for approximately five minutes. Mixture is done when it coats the back of a spoon. It should reduce by one third.
Remove from heat, and let it cool before using. It will thicken as it cools