Laying all your favorite caprese salad ingredients—like burrata cheese, marinated mozzarella balls, tomatoes and fresh stone fruit—out on a platter instead of layered in a bowl makes this self-serve salad or appetizer the easiest way to choose all your favorite bites.
It’s like everyone’s favorite cheese board mated with all the best caprese-inspired ingredients, and they had a baby. Pass around the cigars, because the caprese salad platter has arrived.
It’s all to common to spy an amazing salad loaded with all of the good stuff, only to dig in, all the good stuff shifts, and then falls to the bottom of the bowl and you’re left diving for that coveted mozzarella ball.
That’s why salad platters have become my new go-to salad serving solution, so you can serve larger portions of each of the ingredients—because my favorite cream-filled burrata cheese isn’t all that chopping friendly—rather than bite-sized bits of bites.
I first shared this salad platter trick with this Ultimate Italian Salad Platter. When you serve this salad family-style in the middle of the table, everyone can add “just a little more” and choose their favorite ingredients, and then nibble at the leftovers until the entire platter is picked clean because it’s just too good to stay away.
ABOUT THE RECIPE
This salad platter is less of a recipe and more an assemblage of toppings. Feel free to adapt and switch up according to your tastes and favorites, or simply by whatever you might happen to have on hand for those unexpected, but totally welcome drop-ins.
Traditional caprese flavors dominate this salad platter with a few sweet bites of fruit tossed in. A few fresh fruity ingredient options are:
Tomatoes are at the forefront of every caprese salad. Typically I like to use smaller, sweeter campari or cocktail tomatoes, but I also love adding in various sizes and styles from multi-colored heirloom tomatoes to smaller cherry tomatoes. Feel free to use your favorites, and mix and match shapes and color.
For the base of this platter I used spicy arugula for the green leafy touch. Spinach, a bed of fresh basil leaves, or spring lettuce mix will also do the trick.
Next up, the most popular part of caprese, the cheese.
Everyone loves a good mozzarella ball and they’re always the first to disappear. I served this round of mozzarella balls (bocconcini) marinated in a little olive oil with fresh herbs, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and kosher salt added in. You could always serve the mozzarella balls plain, or slice a log of mozzarella, or use a combination.
Creamy burrata cheese is always a show stopping surprise. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream where the outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains stracciatella and cream, giving it a creamy, soft texture.
I added some textural variety with salty bites in adding kalamata olives, marcona almonds and slices of calabrese salami.
Other options for cured meats could be:
- Hard Italian salami
- Thinly sliced French or Spanish ham
What to Serve with the Caprese Salad Platter
This salad is like the classic little black cocktail dress because it goes with just about anything and everything and works for every occassion. Again, it’s a terrific idea to serve as a side, or set out small plates for friends to snack on as an appetizer, too. Here are a few ideas of main dishes to serve alongside this platter:
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How to Make a Killer Caprese Salad Platter
- 6 cups arugula fresh spinach leaves, or salad greens
- Burrata cheese
- Mozzarella balls
- Sliced cured meats such as calabrese or prosciutto
- Sliced stone fruit such as nectarines or peaches
- Raspberries or strawberries
- Marcona almonds
- Kalamata olives
- Slivered fresh basil
- Lemon-flavored olive oil
- Balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- 1 8- ounce carton of mozzarella cheese balls bocconcini, drained
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Peel from ½ lemon cut into long strips
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
On a large platter, place the greens in the center of the plate. Arrange the rest of the ingredients in groups on the outsides of the platter. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let your guests create their own salads and serve with the salad dressing on the side.
To Make the Marinated Mozzarella Balls
Place the mozzarella balls in a jar or bowl. Pour the olive oil over the mozzarella. Stir in the lemon strips, red pepper flakes and salt. Marinate for 1 hour up to 1 week.
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