salad from capri

jamie oliver's salad from capri

The sun shone in my corner of Rayleigh this weekend, and with family coming over for dinner a roast or stew didn’t seem right for the occasion. I was browsing the ol’ recipe book shelf and a skinny little booklet fell out: Jamie Oliver’s Red Nose Day Recipes 2009. I was bought it as a gift, which is great, but it’s so slender it disappeared between dusty volumes in my collection. Mrs. RoastPotato took one look at this salad recipe and that was it, it was on the menu.

It’s a fairly simple affair, a celebration of tomatoes matched with milky mozzarella. I managed to pick up some arancia variety at the Co-op, and they were beautiful – sweet grape-sized amber tomatoes with bags of character. Paired with some more luscious vine toms they were a pleasing mix. Unusually there was only vinegar on the salad items, with the oil component coming from a punchy basil dressing, and as a combination it was brilliant. Lots of bright, sunny flavours and a celebration of it’s core ingredients. Dust this one off for a barbecue this Summer, it will be an instant hit.

Salad from Capri (serves 6 as a side-salad):

600g mozzarella, torn into chunks

A few handfuls of mixed tomatoes

A handful of baby salad leaves

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

For the basil dressing:

Large handful of basil leaves

Large pinch of sea salt

Extra virgin olive oil

  1. For the basil dressing, bash the basil and salt together in a pestle and mortar. In seconds it will turn to a spinach-y mush. Add enough oil to make a vibrant green paste.
  2. Strew most of the mozzarella over a large serving dish. Hold some back for another layer.
  3. Toss the tomatoes and salad with the vinegar and a sprinkle of black pepper, and drape over the cheese.
  4. Top with more mozzarella, and put splodges of basil dressing around the salad – these will provide big hits of salty basilness through the salad.


  • Ooooh, that looks so fresh and summery.

    Isn’t it exciting that ‘summer food’ and eating outside is upon us? 🙂

    • Summer eats are here! I’m looking forward to my first barbecue in earnest – once I get out behind the grill I don’t come in until November.

      First asparagus from the garden looks ready this week too…


  • This was such a hit I did it again this weekend. I couldn’t find any basil in my local supermarket so I used a bunch of home-grown mint instead – it was punchy and refreshing, and just as nice.

  • There truly is not a better salad. I have some version of it a couple times a week, although I like balsamic vinegar in mine. It’s bright and fresh and takes a dandy photo!

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