Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette has all the flavors of summer! This tasty salad combination is low-carb, gluten-free, low-glycemic, meatless, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
This Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is the perfect salad to make when it’s fresh tomato season and your garden is bursting with tomatoes and fresh basil. However it can also have mood-enhancing properties if it’s a very rainy first week of summer where you live, even if you have to buy tomatoes from Costco and it takes every basil leaf you can manage to snip from your puny plants.
I have to confess though, it was the adorable mozzarella pearls made by Bel Gioisio Cheese I found at Costco that really inspired this salad. If you’re not familiar with fresh mozzarella, it’s a very soft cheese that comes packed in brine. The “pearls” are tiny pieces about the size of marbles, and they were delicious with the tomatoes and fresh basil. (And in case anyone is wondering, Bel Gioisio hasn’t given me any free Mozzarella and has no idea I’m writing about their cheese!)
Basil is considered by many to be the best of all herbs. I’ve grown it in my garden for about 20 years, and I always start with one or two purchased seedlings, then plant basil seeds for an inexpensive patch of basil. Every year I freeze fresh basil from my garden, and use it all through the winter. The fresh basil flavor is the essence of this salad.
I tried the salad a few different ways, but I actually preferred it with plain old black olives from a can rather than with Kalamata or Spanish olives. I used the extra large sized olives. These are the adorable Mozzarella pearls I found at Costco. If it was fresh tomato season I’d make this with juicy ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks, but I had to make do with these grape tomatoes from Costco, which are actually pretty tasty. I drained the olives and Mozzarella pearls, then cut the tomatoes, olives, and mozzarella all in half to make uniform sized pieces.
Wash the fresh basil and chop (or tear if you’re one of those cooking purists, but I never could see what the fuss was about chopping!) Do this right before you’re ready to mix it into the dressing. I used my favorite vinaigrette, but you can use any type of homemade or bottled vinaigrette that you like the flavor of. Mix the chopped basil into the vinaigrette. Gently combine the dressing with the cut tomatoes, olives, and mozzarella pearls, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. This is best served immediately, but I had some that had been in the fridge overnight that I shared with my contractors, and even though tomatoes never taste as good after they’ve been refrigerated, they gave it a thumbs up.
More Ideas with Fresh Mozzarella:
Crustless Tomato-Basil Tarts with Mozzarella and Goat Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Baby Arugula Chopped Salad with Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella, and Tomatoes ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Tomato, Olive, and Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette has all the flavors of summer!
- 1 can large black olives, cut in half (6 oz. olives after draining)
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella pearls, cut in half (or use regular fresh mozzarella and cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing (I used my favorite vinaigrette shown below in notes, but any type of homemade or bottled vinaigrette that you like will work.)
- 1/2 cup chopped or torn fresh basil leaves
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Drain olives and fresh mozzarella pearls while you cut cherry tomatoes in half; place tomatoes in bowl.
- Cut olives and mozzarella pearls in half and put in bowl with tomatoes.
- Wash basil and spin dry in salad spinner or dry with paper towels, then chop or tear basil into small pieces.
- Mix chopped basil into vinaigrette dressing, then gently combine dressing with the tomato mixture.
- Season to taste with fresh ground black pepper and serve immediately.
I used Fresh Mozzarella Pearls and my favorite vinaigrette for this recipe. If you can’t find that vinaigrette where you live, Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing is another good choice and that has only 1 gram of sugar per serving.
Recipe created by Kalyn.All images and text ©
Low-Carb Diet Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet, and the recipe is also great for mother other low-carb eating plans. The highest carb item here is the tomatoes, so use more olives and Mozzarella and less tomatoes if you prefer. South Beach would prefer low-fat Mozzarella and other low-carb diets might prefer full-fat mozzarella. If you’re using a purchased vinaigrette, be sure to choose a low-sugar version for South Beach or low-carb dieters.
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