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Off Season Caprese Salad on a white plate

Off-Season Caprese Salad

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This Off-Season Caprese Salad is a marvelous option when there are no fresh, ripe and meaty tomatoes to be had!

A twist on the classic Italian salad where beautiful sliced tomatoes are paired with fresh mozzarella, and basil, this version utilizes sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh.

Off Season Caprese Salad | A marvelous combination of fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and basil

The Woes of Winter Tomatoes

On days like today when the snow is falling and the daffodils should be blossoming (yes, I wrote this post in March!), I long for summer.  Early summer when sweet, succulent berries are plentiful at the farmers’ market, and late summer when juicy garden tomatoes are ripe for the picking. Most of the tomatoes I spot at the market are anemic and just plain pitiful. But when dining out with friends for lunch recently in the village of Broad Ripple, just minutes from my home, I found a vestige of summer in their tomato mozzarella salad.

Off Season Caprese Salad | A marvelous combination of fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and basil

Off-Season Caprese Salad

Instead of serving sub-par tomato slices, tender sun-dried tomatoes stood in their steed. Fresh mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar plus a sprinkling of fresh basil finished this refreshing Off-Season Caprese Salad.

Off Season Caprese Salad | A marvelous combination of fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and basil

Memories of Italy

I knew it would be a cinch to reproduce this at home. Fresh buffalo mozzarella was on sale, so I purchased the best of the best. Much as I wanted to serve whole sun-dried tomato halves like at the restaurant, those I had in my fridge weren’t nearly tender enough to be eaten whole. I julienned the tomatoes and piled a mound on each slice of cheese, then finished off each plate with drizzles and sprinkles of the typical ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, well-aged, syrupy balsamic vinegar and a chiffonade of basil. This is pretty much a no-brainer recipe.

I had two freshly baked Rustic Potato Loaves in my kitchen, so a couple of slices along with this salad completed my dinner. I was swooning inside as I sopped up the flavorsome juices with the rustic bread. Then I closed my eyes and was transported back to Sienna where Katie and I enjoyed our Caprese salads on the Piazza del Campo. Heavenly.

Katie and I at a restaurant at the city center of Sienna, Italy 

Off Season Caprese Salad on a white plate

Off Season Caprese Salad

A twist on the classic Caprese salad using sun-dried tomatoes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 6 small salads


  • Fresh buffalo mozzarella, 7 ounces
  • 9 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, cut into strips
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped or cut into chiffonade (roll leaf cigar style, then cut into thin slices)
  • Good quality balsamic vinegar (mine is aged 18 years)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Slice mozzarella into 6 slices and place on platter or individual plates. Top each slice with approximately 1/6 of the sundried tomato strips, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, sea salt and basil.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 317mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g


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47 comments on “Off-Season Caprese Salad”

  1. I also read the first sentence and scrolled back up to the top to see what day you had written the post. Even more confused, I continued on and saw that you wrote in March. Phew! Of course, considering that we had a frost warning yesterday morning, it wasn’t all that unreasonable a thought process. Luckily, today will be in the upper 80’s. Wonderful NC weather.

    Anyhow, your salad looks and sounds fantastic. Capris always takes me back to Italy too. All I have to do is close my eyes while I eat each tender bite. I love the sun dried tomatoes twist.

  2. When I read the first sentence I thought you were having snow now and I almost cried for you. But then I saw that you wrote this in March. This is a wonderful way to enjoy capris when fabulous tomatoes aren’t available. I could definitely make this my dinner! Love the photo of you and Katie, looks like you’re having such a delightful time!

  3. I love sun-dried tomatoes AND fresh mozzarella!!! Looks pretty and sounds even better, can’t wait to try!

  4. Beautiful Siena…and what a beautiful salad to bring on spring. We have been finding some very tasty tomatoes here in Florida. I really like the idea of the sun-dried tomatoes which I do not eat often enough.

  5. Lovely, Liz. Looks like you are one resourceful lady who can pull off gourmet whatever the season…P.s. Trust the daffodils are delighting you now =)

  6. Ah yum.. this sounds great! 🙂 i love fresh mozarella

  7. Sounds delicious! I’m sooooo ready for good tomatoes, actually right now I’d settle for some warm weather:@)

  8. Fresh mozzarella is one those understated yet true culinary wonder, so good on it’s own!

  9. Piazza del Campo?! So jealous. But this salad – yes! I could definitely get on board with this!

  10. Ugh, I’ve never had a chance to try fresh mozzarella. One day maybe.

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