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Burrata Caprese Salad with Balsamic Pearls

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In the summer, I could eat fresh garden tomatoes and mozzarella with a sprinkling of basil day after day. This Burrata Caprese Salad Recipe with Balsamic Pearls is a jazzed up version of my favorite fresh tomato salad.

Burrata Caprese Salad with Balsamic Pearls | Burrata and gelled balsamic vinegar push this salad over the top!

Burrata Caprese Salad with Balsamic Pearls

With nothing close to a ripe garden tomato in the markets, I chose sweet cherry tomatoes on the vine to create this burrata caprese salad. Fresh mozzarella is usually my choice for a classic caprese, but burrata is an indulgent option. Burrata translates to “buttered” in Italian and is a shell of fresh mozzarella filled with cream and cheese curds. But the coolest thing about this salad are the balsamic pearls!

Burrata Caprese Salad with Balsamic Pearls | Burrata and gelled balsamic vinegar push this salad over the top!

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

I was reminded of my failed attempt on making balsamic vinegar pearls when my friend, Juliana, of Color Your Recipes, posted her Balsamic Vinegar Caviar recipe. Since I still had a stash of agar-agar and an endless supply of balsamic, I figured it was worth another shot. And Juliana’s recipe was much more detailed than what I had used before. Whew, success! They made quite a statement on my tomato mozzarella salad!

How to Make Balsamic Pearls

First, it’s nice to know exactly what balsamic peals are! They’re basically gelled balsamic vinegar. Adding agar agar to balsamic vinegar helps solidify the liquid.

But there’s more to the process. First, your choice of oil must be chilled. Either vegetable or olive oil will work, but you may not want to use an expensive oil for these pearls. Set the oil in the freezer for 30 minutes to must heat the vinegar and add the agar agar. Let this mixture cool to 130 degrees.

Next,  heat the balsamic and agar-agar to a boil, then let the mixture cool to 130 degrees.

Then comes the fun. Use a dropper to slowly drip the balsamic mixture into the oil. It will form pearls as it drops through the oil. Retrieve the pearls and use to garnish your salad. Keep any extras in the refrigerated.

Burrata Caprese Salad with Balsamic Pearls | Burrata and gelled balsamic vinegar push this salad over the top!


Recipes Using Fresh Tomatoes:

Burrata Caprese Salad with Balsamic Pearls

Burrata Caprese Salad with Balsamic Pearls

A twist on the Italian Caprese salad using Burrata cheese and balsamic vinegar pearls.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 4 servings


For Balsamic Pearls:

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 grams agar-agar, weigh with your kitchen scale
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (may use olive oil if desired)

For Salad:

  • 11-ounce package of super sweet cherry tomatoes on the vine, sliced in half
  • 4 ounces Burrata, sliced (centers will ooze, so don't expect beautiful slices)
  • 8-ounce package of small fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegene)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic pearls (or balsamic vinegar if desired)
  • Fresh basil and oregano, small leaves or chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. To make the balsamic pearls, pour the oil into a tall thin glass and place into the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill the oil.
  2. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small pan and sprinkle agar-agar over it. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the agar-agar. Remove from heat and let cool to 130 degrees (much colder and your mixture will gel. If this happens, just gently reheat.).
  3. Remove the cold oil from the freezer and keep it cold by placing it into a container filled with ice. Fill a syringe (I used a medicine dropper) with the warm balsamic and slowly drip it into the cold oil. As it falls through the oil, it will cool and gel. One drip will make small "caviar" like pearls. I made some of these and also did a quick double drop to make larger pearls.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pearls from the oil and rinse with water. Store in the in a covered container in the refrigerator until needed.
  5. For each salad, place one or two slices of Burrata in the center of the plate, then add small mozzarella balls. Scatter tomatoes over the plate, followed by balsamic pearls and herbs. Sprinkle with kosher salt, then drizzle with olive oil.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 938Total Fat: 93gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 77gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 368mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 9g

Calorie count is including the vegetable oil used to make the pearls and is exaggerated.


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25 comments on “Burrata Caprese Salad with Balsamic Pearls”

  1. I love those balsamic pearls…delicious and easy to prepare. The salad looks absolutely divine, Liz.

  2. I’d say that’s one pearl of a success to actually make your own balsamic pearls! Bravo =) As a huge fan of mozzarella and all things creamy and tomato, I say yes please!

  3. You found some pretty tomatoes for this time of year! The salad sounds very fresh and I’m really-really ready for some warm sunny weather:@)

  4. Beautiful! The Balsamic Pearls – Oh My! I love mozzarella and tomatoes with Balsamic. These pearls put this over the top! Amazing!

  5. a match made in heaven. Love this salad!

  6. A slice of crusty bread and I’m all set for lunch.

  7. Burrata is my absolute favourite fresh cheese. I can recall the exact time and place I tried this delicacy (2012 at Morandi in New York City) — it was life-changing! I’m so happy for you that your balsamic pearls turned out so well, I was surprised at how easy it was in 2014 when I made them (very close to this time of year! I have a jar of them in my pantry, a gift from a friend. I know how I’m going to use them in the near future.

  8. Every week I cannot wait to see what you make, because you never disappoint! This is absolutely lovely and omg I can only imagine how good this is! Great recipe my friend!

  9. My mom loves burrata. It’s okay to me, but I would happily take all these balsamic pearls and tomatoes. So pretty and tasty! I can always could on you for such a sophisticated recipe.

  10. I’ve been DYING to play with agar-agar. Now, I’m convinced I need to! Looks gorgeous and delicious.

  11. Of course I am showing my ignorance once again – had no idea what agar-agar is. (Although I have been to Japan – just wasn’t looking for it and, besides, it is called by a different name. Why not. Anyway, once I have a package of A-A in my hot little hands, I am going to give this a shot. Sounds like fun.

  12. Simple understated elegance!

  13. This looks divine and one of my favorite salads with tomatoes. And so easy, too. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Burrata and cherry tomatoes are already my favorites but with balsamic pearls? Wow, I love this!!

  15. My all-time favorite!! Love the balsamic pearls. I really need to give this a try – very impressive, and fun!

  16. Those balsamic pearls look great and any excuse for burrata!

  17. I love this salad, looks delicious! Your Balsamic Pearls turned out perfect.

  18. Once the tomatoes start producing we do eat caprese in some form almost every day. 🙂 Love this version with the little pearls of balsamic. Sometimes I drizzle a touch on tomatoes even though I read a chef’s article one time that caprese with balsamic is a no-no. What does he know? 🙂 Flavoring is up to the eater and I’ll be adding your little pearls as soon as I get some fresh tomatoes.

  19. Like you, I could eat this salad all summer long! Love it!

  20. This Caprese version sounds great to me!

  21. How dreamy, I could eat this salad all summer long too, and I love those balsamic pearls!

  22. Love the colourful salad, dear! xoxo

  23. Wow!! If I ever cater a Summer party I know what I’m serving!

  24. Balsamic pearls, who knew! This is a beautiful salad and I love the colors.

  25. The Caprese salad is a favorite of mine and the balsamic pearls — GENIUS!

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