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Arugula Caprese Salad

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This vibrant salad is packed full of flavor and nutrients. It has fresh cherry tomatoes, peppery arugula, soft cheese, and plenty of fresh basil. The addition of peppery arugula leaves bulks out this arugula Caprese salad and gives it an extra nutritious kick.

The salad is tossed in good quality olive oil and lemon juice and finished with salt and black pepper. This simple dressing highlights all the flavors and textures present in the salad. This is a great way to bring a wealth of vitamins to your next meal.

birds eye view of a bowl of salad.

Classic caprese salad

Caprese salad, also known as Insalata Caprese, is a traditional Italian salad, that originates from the Island of Capri. It consists of fresh mozzarella, red tomatoes, and fragrant basil. When arranged on a plate, the colors resemble the Italian flag.

Dres the salad with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Because a good Caprese salad recipe is such a simple salad, using fresh, in-season, and good quality ingredients is key.

Arugula caprese salad

Arugula, also known as rocket or roquette is a leafy green with a peppery flavor and slightly nutty taste. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and calcium and brings heaps of flavors and nutrients to this salad. Baby arugula leaves are what is used in this salad as they are slightly milder than full-sized arugula.

The addition of arugula leaves bulks the salad out quite a lot. It also gives the salad the added nutrients of fresh arugula and makes a greener version of the classic Caprese.

Often, a Caprese salad is arranged in layers, alternating between slices of tomato and a slice of fresh mozzarella.

This Caprese arugula salad is arranged in a much more rustic bowl-of-salad style with the salad greens tossed amongst the other ingredients. Serve it as a side dish to a main meal or as a light lunch.

sliced tomatoes with rocket leaves.

The dressing

A traditional Caprese is usually dressed in simple olive oil however this salad also has fresh lemon juice and zest added to it. Lemon gives a little bite and freshness which enhances all the salad flavors, especially the arugula.

A balsamic glaze or simple balsamic vinaigrette made with olive oil and balsamic vinegar could also be added to bring the tang, as is used in this Spinach Caprese salad.

a hand pouring oil over salad.

Ingredients

Find the full ingredient amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is what you will need –

  • Fresh baby arugula leaves
  • Ripe tomatoes – slices of tomatoes, or use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes and halve them. Small cherry tomatoes bring lots of natural sweetness to the salad.
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese.
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

The mozzarella cheese

Fresh, creamy mozzarella comes in many forms. You can use cow’s milk mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella. A ball of fresh mozzarella cheese made with buffalo milk is much creamier and softer than cow’s milk.

This can be torn into pieces. Slice firmer cow’s mozzarella rather than tearing it. Small mozzarella balls (bocconcini) can be used too, or burrata.

You can use vegan mozzarella too if you want to make this salad vegan.

a hand tearing mozzarella.

Method

Wash and pat dry the arugula leaves. Add them to a large bowl.

Halve the cherry tomatoes or slice large tomatoes and arrange them over top of the arugula. Rip the basil leaves into rustic pieces and sprinkle them over the salad.

Tear the fresh mozzarella into pieces or slice it. Add these to the bowl.

Zest a lemon and sprinkle this over the salad. Drizzle over the juice of half a lemon and extra virgin olive oil.

Serve the salad soon after it has been dressed, at room temperature.

tossed arugula caprese salad in a bowl.

Storing

Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day.

The vegetables in the salad will release a lot of liquid if they sit in the dressing too long. It’s best served as soon as you have prepared it.

birds eye view of a bowl of salad.

Arugula Caprese Salad

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Fresh Caprese salad with peppery arugula leaves and a zesty lemon dressing.

Ingredients

  • 140g (5oz) fresh arugula leaves
  • 250g (9oz) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves
  • 200g (7oz) fresh mozzarella cheese
  • ½ tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash and pat dry the arugula leaves. Add them to a large bowl.
  2. Halve the cherry tomatoes or slice large tomatoes and arrange them over top of the arugula.
  3. Rip the basil leaves into rustic pieces and sprinkle them over the salad.
  4. Tear the fresh mozzarella into pieces or slice it. Add these to the bowl.
  5. Zest a lemon and sprinkle this over the salad. Drizzle over the juice of half a lemon and extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 260mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g

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