This California-style Caprese salad is loaded with pretty heirloom tomatoes, marinated mozzarella, fresh grilled sweet corn, and avocado. It is a fresh, beautiful addition to your summer table.
In the colder months, I dream of tomatoes at their peak and impatiently wait for what seems like forever for them to start arriving in the stores. My friends, it was sure worth the wait this year. This season been a doozy! We’ve had gorgeous tomatoes available at our stores and farmers’ markets here in Nothern California.
I’ve been especially drawn to the heirloom tomatoes which I’ve been finding in abundance this season. The varying colors add interest and an old-fashioned, classic look to your recipes and each variety has a unique flavor.
This salad includes all the Caprese basics – tomatoes, marinated mozzarella balls, thinly sliced fresh basil and a creamy balsamic dressing. For a California summer vibe, I added some freshly grilled sweet corn and avocado and piled all of these delicious ingredients on top of a bed of baby spinach and mixed spring greens.
A salad like this is the basis for what I consider to be the perfect summer meal. Pair it with a simple baked quiche and a 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.
When weather permits, dining al fresco makes a simple dinner at home feel like a special night out. I’ve noticed that when I set a nice table and serve a meal outside, people have a tendency to linger longer, there’s more conversation, and a far more relaxed feeling to the meal. It’s my favorite way to dine!
I’ve recently discovered the joy of preparing platter salads. Instead of tossing everthing together in a salad bowl, like I’ve done now for more years than I want to admit, I’ve begun layering the ingredients on a large serving platter and suddenly salads I’ve made for years have taken on a whole new feel. You can arrange everything, nice and pretty, and those gorgeous, vibrant ingredients are up front and center so your guests can see precisely what they’re getting.
The creamy balsamic dressing I used here is one I’ve been making forever and a day. The trick to the creamy consistency is processing the ingredients in a food processor until emulsified. It works like a dream. The thickened dressing clings to the ingredients so there’s no need to toss the salad and ruin the layered look. See the printable recipe below for the complete ingredient list and easy directions.
La Terra Fina® is a local San Francisco Bay Area company that was started by a caterer who’s quiche’s and dips were so much in demand that she began creating products for sale at grocery and club stores. I recently had the opportunity to sample several of their quiche varieties and they are delicious! They come in a variety of flavors in both a larger size, comparable to a 9″ pie, and those cute minis on the right. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
I chose La Terra Fina’s Classic Lorraine Quiche to pair with my fresh, summer salad. It consists of an egg white base, Swiss cheese, and, of course, bacon! They bake easily in the oven in under 30 minutes. No surprise that this quiche was consumed and loved by everyone in my house. It’s wonderfully textured and light but at the same time makes for a substantial and filling meal.
For more information on La Terra Fina, including where you can find their products in your area, check them out online HERE.
Thank you to La Terra Fina for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Valerie’s Kitchen!
Caprese Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado
Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Caprese Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado:
- 1 ear yellow sweet corn husks and silk removed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Mixed greens I used a mixture of baby spinach and mixed spring greens
- 2 or 3 heirloom tomatoes
- 1 12 ounce container marinated mozzarella balls
- 1 avocado chopped
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- Place all dressing ingredients in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until emulsified (it should be slightly thickened). If making dressing ahead, pour into a small container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to serve salad.
- Brush the sweet corn with vegetable oil and place on either your indoor or outdoor grill over medium heat. Cook, turning occasionally until corn is tender when pierced and is beginning to char, about 10 minutes total. Remove corn from grill and allow to cool. Once cooled, use a sharp knife to remove corn from the cob and set aside.
- Place the mixed greens on a large serving platter. Scatter remaining ingredients over the top and drizzle with prepared dressing.
More summer salad inspiration!
Grilled Cantaloupe Salad with Blueberry Ginger Vinaigrette by Make Healthy Easy
Cowboy Steak Salad by From Valerie’s Kitchen
Chipotle Lime Grilled Shrimp Salad with Lime Dressing by Closet Cooking
Grilled Peach, Blueberry, and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad by Two Peas & Their Pod