This Avocado Corn Caprese Salad is a super fresh, absolutely beautiful choice for your summer table. Heirloom tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, avocado, and grilled corn are layered on a platter over mixed greens with an easy balsamic vinaigrette.
In the colder months, I dream of summer tomatoes and impatiently wait (for what seems like forever) for the ground to warm enough to get our garden started. I love to grow a variety of tomatoes so I can add more interest to salads, like this Avocado Corn Caprese Salad.
Caprese in some form or another is on our menu at least once or twice a week through the summer months. This California-inspired version may be my very favorite.
It includes all the caprese basics – tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil and a flavorful balsamic dressing. To add a California summer vibe, I add grilled sweet corn and avocado and pile it all on top a bed of mixed greens.
Add a little grilled chicken or shrimp, and I could easily make this lovely salad a meal.
Table of contents
Avocado Corn Caprese Salad Platter
Have you discovered the joy of preparing platter salads? Instead of tossing everything together in a salad bowl, the ingredients are layered over a large serving platter.
Everything is arranged so that those gorgeous, vibrant ingredients are up front and center and your guests can see precisely what they’re getting. It’s an impressive way to serve this caprese salad when entertaining.
Try it with other salad recipes and they will take on a whole new feel.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Tomatoes – I love using heirloom tomatoes for caprese. They come in a beautiful array of colors and each variety has a unique flavor. Most farmers’ markets and many grocery stores will have them during the summer months. At times when I couldn’t find them, I’ve substituted multi-colored cherry tomatoes combined with hothouse tomatoes which you can find all year long.
- Sweet corn – Fresh sweet corn adds such great flavor and texture and ups the summer vibe. You’ll coat the corn with a little olive oil or vegetable oil before grilling to increase the char. Don’t want to bother with fresh corn? You can substitute frozen corn. Just thaw and drain it thoroughly before sprinkling it over the salad.
- Greens – I used a mixture of baby spinach and mixed spring greens. Any mixed greens will work.
- Mozzarella – Look for containers of marinated mozzarella balls with the gourmet cheeses in the deli section of the grocery store. Sometimes I’ll substitute chunks of fresh mozzarella or burrata.
- Avocado – A large Hass avocado.
- Basil – Thinly sliced or torn fresh basil – another garden must for me!
How to Make Avocado Corn Caprese Salad
- Make the vinaigrette: Place all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar or other airtight container and tightly close the lid. Shake vigorously until combined and emulsified (it should be slightly thickened).
- Grill the corn: Brush the sweet corn with vegetable oil and place on either your indoor or outdoor grill over medium heat. Cook, turning occasionally until the corn is slightly charred and tender when pierced. Remove corn from the grill and let it cool slightly.
- Marinate the tomatoes: Add the tomatoes to a small mixing bowl and drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss lightly to combine.
If you’re not grilling outdoors, the corn can be cooked on a stovetop grill pan instead. It can also be boiled briefly in a pot of salted water until tender.
- Corn kernels: Use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off the slightly cooled grilled corn.
- Base layer: Spread a light layer of greens out over a large platter and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinaigrette.
- Assemble: Scatter the tomato mixture (with any dressing that accumulated in the bowl), drained mozzarella, and corn over the top of the greens. Add the avocado and garnish with the fresh basil. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Quiche or Tart: For an absolutely lovely summer brunch, lunch, or light dinner pair it with Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche or a delicious Caramelized Onion Tart. Pour a chilled glass of white wine and you’ve got a meal that is elegant enough for entertaining, but stress-free enough for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Grilled Meats: This Avocado Corn Caprese Salad is the perfect side dish for anything off the grill. Try it with Grilled Pork Tenderloin, chicken prepared with my Grilled Chicken Marinade, or Margarita Chicken.
Avocado Corn Caprese Salad
Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Avocado Corn Caprese Salad
- 1 ear yellow sweet corn, husks and silk removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or vegetable oil
- 2 to 3 cups mixed baby greens, I used a mixture of baby spinach and mixed spring greens
- 2 or 3 heirloom tomatoes, (variety of colors), cut in thick wedges and cut into 1-inch-ish pieces
- 8 ounces marinated mozzarella balls, drained
- 1 large Hass avocado, chopped
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar or other airtight container and tightly close the lid. Shake vigorously until combined and emulsified (it should be slightly thickened). If making dressing ahead, refrigerate until ready to serve.
Grill the Corn
- Brush the sweet corn with oil and place on either your indoor or outdoor grill over MEDIUM heat. Cook, turning occasionally until the corn is slightly charred and tender when pierced, about 8 minutes total. Remove corn from the grill and let it cool slightly. Once cooled, use a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels from the cob.
Marinate the Tomatoes
- Add the tomatoes to a medium mixing bowl and drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss lightly to combine. Set aside or refrigerate for up to an hour.
Assemble the Salad
- Place a light layer of mixed greens on a large serving platter and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of the remaining dressing. Scatter the tomato mixture (with any dressing that accumulated in the bowl), drained mozzarella, and corn over the top. Add the avocado and garnish with the fresh basil. Drizzle with the rest of the remaining dressing and serve immediately.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
This post was originally published on July 11, 2015. It has been updated with new text and images.