I told you last week how guilty I feel plucking and using my fresh herbs when they’ve worked so hard to grow, but truly the best way to keep them growing thicker and faster is to pick ’em. As evidenced by this behemoth basil plant I trimmed last Friday that already has, like, five new shoots. I can smell them the minute I open my back door!
The first thing that comes to mind when I smell fresh basil is summertime. They go together like chocolate and peanut butter (mmmm, chocolate and peanut butter…) sunsets and sauvignon blanc (Kim Crawford – hello!) fireflies and dusk (someone just told me fireflies don’t exist in the pacific northwest – please tell me this is false?!) The second thing is a Caprese Salad. Fresh torn basil layered with thick-cut fresh mozzarella cheese and juicy red tomatoes. Caprese salads, as they say, are my jam.
So much so that I realized I have about a billion, ok 12 tops, different recipe spins on them here in the IGE archives. To celebrate the arrival of the summer growing season I wanted to share my favorites so you can make, eat, and enjoy all summer long. And if you have a favorite spin on the classic Caprese salad, we’d love to hear it, so leave your ideas in the comments below!
Peach Caprese Salad
I’m starting out with an absolute favorite! In this Peach Caprese Salad I replaced traditional tomatoes with fat slices of fresh peaches and it totally blew me away. I grew up eating pineapple in my cottage cheese so I love the combo of sweet fruit and cheese.
Avocado and Chicken Caprese Salad
I don’t think I ever told you but one night I took a candid shot of the Avocado and Chicken Caprese Salad I tossed together for dinner then posted it on Instagram, and the Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond, commented on it. Life = made!! If she liked the looks of it, I knew you guys would too. The addition of avocado to a Caprese Salad is ahhhmazing!
Grilled Caprese Chicken with Basil Vinaigrette
Not only do I love this Grilled Caprese Chicken with Basil Vinaigrette because the heat stays out of the kitchen when I make it, but the chicken is marinated in the same basil vinaigrette that’s drizzled on top so it’s quick and easy too.
Caprese Pasta Salad
Listen to me – THE PERFECT SPRING AND SUMMERTIME PASTA SALAD!!! I am so obsessed with this easy and delicious Caprese Pasta Salad!
Caprese Stuffed chicken
Caprese Stuffed Chicken is a great way to switch up chicken night without getting too complicated. Chicken breasts are pounded thin then folded over Caprese salad ingredients and baked. Done and done.
Caprese Sausage Breakfast Bake
Caprese Sausage Breakfast Bake turned out even better than I thought it would. The cherry tomatoes get nice and sweet from roasting in the oven and keep this cheesy breakfast bake light and fresh tasting.
Click here for the recipe >
Caprese Chicken Nachos with Marinated Tomatoes
Crispy Caprese Chicken Nachos with Marinated Tomatoes are a riff on my Chicken Caesar Chalupa Nachos, and are a great summery twist on nachos. Almost bruschetta like, with melted cheese. I’m not mad about that!
Click here for the recipe >
Caprese Pasta Skillet
The recipe for Caprese Pasta Skillet is an oldie but goodie. Super simple and quick with cheese pockets. That’s right: cheese pockets.
Caprese Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Sausage
Caprese Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Sausage is one of my favorite recipes ever, ever, ever. People RAVE about it and I do too. It’s really light and easy to eat in the summer time, and the Caprese combo of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil pair perfectly with the spicy sausage. I’ve used fresh gluten-free pasta sheets (I like RP’s or Cappellos – cook before using,) in place of regular before and it still comes out tasting just as great!
Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle
My favorite little summer appetizer on a stick!! I like to crank course-ground sea salt on top of these Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle just before serving to make each ingredient really pop.
10 Garden Fresh Caprese Recipes – Iowa Girl Eats – Delectable Salads 07.17.2016
[…] The Recipe can be found HERE […]
Five Things Friday 6.19.15 06.19.2015
[…] 10 Garden Fresh Caprese Recipes via Iowa Girl Eats […]
Ryan @ Feed by Round Pond 06.12.2015
Any combination of fresh tomatoes and basil pulled straight from the garden is incredible. Summer hasn’t truly started for me until that first bite of tomato!
The Week That Was: June 12, 2015 - The Globetrotting GalThe Globetrotting Gal 06.12.2015
[…] Caprese is my summer go-to. […]
Would you please come to my house and cook all of these for me? ;)
Love caprese. Yes, it is true no fireflies (lightning bugs) in the PNW (Seattle). That is sad but it is also true that we do not have mosquitoes; flying insects at all really. I don’t have screens on my doors and windows and rarely something flies in. I was a chewed alive as child growing up in Iowa. I also remember those June bugs hitting the screens and moths everywhere. You can sit outside all evening and not be bothered by any flying insect. But the slugs love basil.
No mosquitoes? Pacific NW here I come!
I love anything caprese, definitely trying one of these tonight. Love the idea of peaches
Jana O 06.10.2015
I’m born and raised in Seattle and just had to Google “firefly.” :-(
[email protected] Town Girl Blog 06.10.2015
Your basil looks great! Love these recipes. Pinned :)
I can’t confirm the existence of lightning bugs in the PNW because I live in Downtown Seattle, but I can confirm that there are no mosquitoes here! This is huge after spending all but the last year of my life in the Midwest. Can’t say I miss those.
Yum! I *just* made a similar chicken recipe – grilled chicken topped with a tomato bruschetta and mozzarella cheese – and am totally looking for more recipes like it for the rest of summer. The best. Have to try these.
I can confirm: no lightning bugs in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a very sad thing. But we do have basil – woot! = )
Hey, thanks for these caprese recipes! I always have a TON of basil, so I appreciate having new recipes to try (LOVE the Spicy Turkey Sausage Lasagna Caprese btw…hate the prep for the sauce, not gonna lie, but it’s well worth it). Thank you!
LOVE all of these caprese salad ideas! I just got back from Italy a couple weeks ago, and have been wanting caprese e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
Totally with you on the guilty feeling — I HATE trimming my herbs, but its so worth it when I do. I just planted my “urban garden” last night (high-rise living – do what you gotta do) and can’t WAIT for my plants and herbs to start rocking!
Great roundup – I love these and making anything caprese is my favorite summer food!
I so never thought to do caprese potato skins before.
That sounds AMAZING!!!