Burrata caprese salad is made of fresh, ripe heirloom tomatoes, creamy burrata, and a flavorful garlic basil oil. Served with extra basil, flaky sea salt, and cracked black pepper, this quick appetizer is delicious and fresh, with juices and flavors melding together to create the perfect bite.
Served as a perfect summer appetizer, this can also be made as a side dish or even served as a full meal. There are multiple ways to add additional ingredients to make it more hearty, though the caprese with burrata is perfectly delightful and substantial on its own.
Ripe summer tomatoes are best enjoyed in their natural form at room temperature to really get all of the sweet flavor. This burrata caprese salad would be delicious served alongside Marinated Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Aioli, Puff Pastry Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Feta Cheese, Phyllo Fried Feta with Hot Honey, or Imitation Crab Dip.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Simple summer salad - Using only three main ingredients, this appetizer is easy to assemble and quick to make for a gathering.
Fresh produce - the burrata caprese salad uses ultra-fresh, flavorful tomatoes at the peak of the summer season. Heirloom tomatoes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors presents a beautiful platter.
Versatile - this burrata cheese salad can have infinite variations, from adding grains or greens, to protein and extra vegetables.
What is Caprese Salad?
This classic Italian salad is made of sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, plus a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.
Created to represent the colors of the Italian flag, it is typically served as an appetizer, but the dish has been transformed into many forms, such as pizza, a sandwich, or pasta.
- Burrata cheese. This cheese gets broken open to expose the creamy centers and layered around the tomatoes.
- Tomatoes. Very ripe heirloom tomatoes are called for, but any tomatoes can be used. Just be sure they're ripe and flavorful!
- Basil. Fresh basil is needed to make the garlic basil oil, plus extra for garnish.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic cloves are steeped in the olive oil to infuse the flavor.
- Extra virgin olive oil. Use a good quality, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil for best results.
- Flaky sea salt. This really brings the final dish together, and shouldn't be skipped. You can often find these as Maldon brand Salt Flakes, but there are also other brands and varieties. If you don't have flaky sea salt, use coarse ground sea salt, instead.
See recipe card for full ingredients list and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Add ripe, sliced peaches and prosciutto for another summer version of the salad.
- Nestle in cooked, sliced beets for an extra earthy flavor profile.
- Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar reduction.
- Roast the tomatoes prior to assembly for another flavor profile.
- Use mozzarella cheese or buffalo mozzarella if you can't source burrata cheese.
How to Make This Recipe
One: Add sliced garlic and olive oil to a saucepan. Simmer until the garlic begins to brown slightly, then set aside to cool completely.
Two: Blend together the infused garlic oil and basil leaves until smooth. Use an immersion blender, blender, or food processor.
How to Assemble Caprese Salad
Three: Slice the tomatoes in various shapes and sizes, then layer on a large platter, overlapping.
Four: Break open the burrata and arrange the pieces in between some of the tomato slices.
Hot tip! Drain the brine from the burrata, then dry off the cheese completely before breaking open.
Five: Drizzle the garlic basil oil all over the salad.
Six: Top with flaky sea salt, cracked black pepper, and extra basil leaves, then serve.
How to Serve Caprese Salad
Burrata caprese salad can be served as a meal, a side, or an appetizer. To make the salad more hearty, serve it with toasted Italian bread or crostini.
Alternatively, you could serve it with grains such as quinoa, farro, or mixed greens.
Because it's so versatile, you can also add additional vegetables such as avocado, red onions, cucumbers, chickpeas, grilled chicken, prosciutto, or large croutons to make it like a Panzanella salad.
- Use a variety of colors, shapes, and slicing variation on the tomatoes for visual and textural variety.
- Serve the dish with spoons to gather up any leftover tomato, burrata, and garlic oil juices. That's where the flavor is!
- Use room-temperature tomatoes and burrata for the best flavor.
- Make the garlic basil oil up to a day ahead of time. Note that the color will be most vibrant when it is used right away, however.
- Quality ingredients go a long way in the flavor of this burrata caprese salad.
Fresh Italian cheese made from buffalo or cow's milk. The outer shell is consistent with a mozzarella texture and the balls are filled with cream and curds.
While similar, mozzarella cheese is slightly firm the whole way through, while burrata has a mozzarella type outside and is filled with creamy curds for a very soft inside.
No problem. Use whatever variety of tomato you can find. You can even use cherry or grape tomatoes, roma tomatoes, or standard red slicing tomatoes, just be sure they're ripe and flavorful.
Store the caprese salad in a sealed container in the fridge for one day. Allow the salad to come to room temperature before enjoying it.
The dish is best served the day it is made, however.
Burrata Caprese Salad with Garlic Basil Oil
- Small saucepan
- Immersion blender, blender, or food processor
- Serrated knife
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic thinly sliced
- ¾ cup basil leaves (fresh) packed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 heirloom tomatoes a variety of colors
- 2 large pieces burrata drained from the brine and patted dry (or 3-4 small pieces)
- flaky sea salt
- cracked black pepper
- basil leaves for garnish
- Add the olive oil and sliced garlic to a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and brown slightly, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely, then remove the garlic cloves.½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 large clove garlic
- Note: if you'd like extra garlic flavor, blend the garlic into the oil. Be sure the garlic is not burnt, though!
- Add the cooled oil and basil leaves, and salt to a food processor, blender, or use an immersion blender and blend until completely smooth.¾ cup basil leaves (fresh), ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Slice the tomatoes in slices, wedges, or a combination of both and arrange on a platter.4 heirloom tomatoes
- Break the burrata into pieces and arrange them on and in between the tomato slices.2 large pieces burrata
- Drizzle the salad with the basil oil, then generously sprinkle on flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper. Top with additional fresh basil leaves.flaky sea salt, cracked black pepper, basil leaves
- Serve as is, or with pieces of toast, a green salad, or hearty grains like quinoa or farro.