If you’re looking for the freshest, most delicious summer salad imaginable, this Stone Fruit Tomato Caprese Salad is IT! The fabulous Sweet Basil Dressing is the crowning glory!
I’ve been getting the BEST peaches for the past few weeks and have been filling up BIG bags each time I shop. And when I also found pretty nectarines, plums, cherries and a variety of beautiful tomatoes on sale recently, an idea for brand new summer recipe, this Stone Fruit Tomato Caprese Salad, started swirling through my brain!
Each year, when the days get long, warm and sunny, thoughts of Caprese salad (so quintessentially “summer” to me) tend to capture my brain. If you’re not familiar with Caprese salad (pronounced cuh-PRAY-zay), it’s a classic Italian salad thought to have originated on the island of Capri, hence the name.
The real deal
By strict Italian definition, Caprese salad consists of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and olive oil. Sometimes a drizzle of balsamic vinegar is permissible. However, many delicious renditions have evolved over the years with the addition of lots of other ingredients. In fact, if you google “Caprese salad”, a zillion (well, to be precise 28,500,000) hits come up!
This Stone Fruit Tomato Caprese Salad is my 2020 twist on Caprese salad. Though it veers a bit from the authentic, traditional recipe, it is super delicious, employs the best of the best summer produce and makes a gorgeous presentation. As the name suggests, I’ve included a variety of stone fruits in my salad, peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries, in addition to the typical Caprese cast of characters.
I also took a little liberty with the dressing and use my Sweet Basil Vinaigrette for an additional layer of delicious fresh basil flavor. And instead of adding mozzarella in slices as is traditionally done, I use Perlini (small, pearl-like balls of fresh mozzarella).
Perlini or ciliegine (slightly larger than perlini) can be found in the specialty cheese section of many larger grocery stores and at stores like Whole Foods or Fresh Market. I’ve also seen them at Super Walmart.
This salad goes well with just about any grilled entreé. It also makes a fresh, delicious and unique addition for a summer picnic or potluck. Don’t be surprised if it’s the first thing to go!
Summer is fleeting! So put this Stone Fruit Tomato Caprese Salad on your “must make” list. Once you try it, I’m pretty sure it will go on your “must make again” list. It’s the perfect way to savor the season!
Café Tips for making this Stone Fruit Tomato Caprese Salad
- This recipe calls for small balls of fresh mozzarella sometimes called perlini or ciliegine. If you can’t find these small balls, you could also dice up a larger ball or log which you’ll readily find at most larger grocery stores.
- This salad is very flexible. If you can’t find some of the stone fruits listed, feel free to substitute more of another. Look for the prettiest and freshest fruit – whatever’s in season is always the best!
- Good homegrown summer tomatoes are fabulous is this salad. If you don’t have access to good larger tomatoes, cherry, grape or ripe Roma tomatoes from the grocery store are a good option. I also really like the small, red Campari tomatoes.
- This salad should be put together pretty close to serving time, however, the dressing could be made a day or two in advance.
- One batch of the Sweet Basil Vinaigrette is more than you’ll need for this Stone Fruit Tomato Caprese Salad but there are so many other delicious ways to use the dressing! Check out the post for ideas.
- If you can find some sweet cherries (also known as Bing or Washington State cherries) they add a lot of pizzaz to this salad. They can be a pain to pit though. I love my cherry pitter. It makes removing those pits a breeze! I like to put 2 bowls (one for the pits and one for the pitted cherries in my sink and do the pitting there as there can be tiny splashes of cherry juice which can really make a mess.
- This recipe calls for toasted pine nuts. Toasting them brings out the buttery deliciousness and gives them a little extra crunch. To toast pine nuts, simply put them in a small pan and heat them over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they take on a light golden hue.
Thought for the day:
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10
What we’re listening to for inspiration:
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If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious summer salad imaginable, this Stone Fruit Tomato Caprese Salad is IT! The fabulous Sweet Basil Dressing is the crowning glory!
- 2 medium ripe peaches pitted and sliced
- 2 medium ripe nectarines pitted and sliced
- 2 medium ripe plums pitted and sliced
- ½ cup sweet cherries pitted and halved
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes sliced (red, yellow or any color in between)
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- ½ -¾ cup small fresh mozzarella balls perlini or ciliegine, or diced fresh mozzarella
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
- freshly ground black pepper
Arrange all fruit (yes tomatoes are actually a fruit) and fresh mozzarella on a platter. Drizzle with the Sweet Basil Vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and fresh ground black pepper. Serve extra dressing at the table.
See Café Tips above in the post for further and more detailed instructions and tips.
Nutritional information does not include the Sweet Basil Vinaigrette. See that post for nutrition.
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