Insalata tricolore – Italian salad with ripe tomatoes, avocado, mozzarella slices and basil with a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, if you like the Italian Caprese salad you will love this upgraded version with avocado.
TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH MOZZARELLA
This tomato and mozzarella salad is actually a twist on the very well-known Caprese salad, the famous Italian salad, which you can probably eat in any Italian or Mediterranean restaurant around the world.
What makes it special though is the addition of avocado, which adds a bit more comfort and creaminess to this gorgeous salad.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE TOMATO AVOCADO SALAD
A simple salad using only fresh ingredients, which should be at their best. No need to make this tomato avocado and mozzarella salad if your tomatoes are unripe or the avocado rock-hard.
The tomatoes used for this tomato and avocado salad should be sweet and flavorful, really nice and ripe.
I used a combination of beefsteak tomatoes and smaller red and yellow tomatoes. That is not mandatory, as long as the tomatoes are ripe and sweet, it doesn’t matter if you only use one sort of tomatoes.
If you cannot get regular tomatoes that are ripe enough, use cherry tomatoes instead, they are sweeter and better most of the times, especially when tomatoes are not in season.
The avocado should be perfectly ripe and creamy as well. As ready-to-eat avocados are not always available, I normally buy hard avocados in advance and leave them to ripen on the counter.
How to ripen avocados at home
Most of the times, I place them on the counter and let them be, checking every day. The ripening will take at least 3 days, but it greatly depends on the state the avocado was in when you bought it.
However, if you want to accelerate the process a little bit, place the avocados in a brown paper bag together with an apple or a kiwi. The apples and kiwis contain a hormone that accelerates the ripening process.
Once the avocado is ripe, you can place it in the fridge. This will help it keep healthy for 2 more days.
How to cut an avocado:
Step 1: Halve the avocado and remove the stone.
Step 2: Hold one avocado half in the palm of your hand. Cut the slices, using a small knife, in the skin on the avocado.
Step 3: Run a tablespoon under the cut avocado slices and lift the spoon containing all the slices.
Step 4: Carefully transfer the avocado slices from the tablespoon to the plate.
Today I used regular mozzarella cheese to make the tomato and mozzarella salad. The salad tastes sensational as it is, fresh and delicious, but if you want to make it even better, use burrata instead of mozzarella.
I discovered burrata only recently during our vacation in Italy last year. I am hooked ever since. Thankfully, although I have never been able to buy burrata before around here, the things changed, I might have to drive to the closest town to get it, but it is worth it every time.
So do try this tomato and avocado salad with burrata as well, if you have the chance, you will love it.
But what is burrata?
Burrata is an Italian soft fresh cheese made of mozzarella and cream. Burrata actually means “buttery” and this is the way this cheese is, absolutely buttery and delicate, melting in your mouth, one of the best cheeses I have ever tasted.
Burrata looks like a little bag which reminds of mozzarella on the outside. However, a creamy and delicious interior will ooze out of the “shell” when the burrata is sliced or torn apart.
Fresh basil is a must, don’t even think of using dried basil, it makes absolutely no sense in this tomato avocado and mozzarella salad.
Salt: I used good quality sea salt flakes, like Maldon, to sprinkle on top of the tomatoes, avocado and mozzarella salad. Fancy salt flakes are not completely mandatory, but they work really well here, use them if you happen to have them.
I used a simple dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar adding a little grated garlic clove for even more flavor.
Garlic is not completely mandatory for this tomato and avocado salad with mozzarella, I have made it without many times. But it does add an extra kick, which I love. But I am a garlic junkie, so I tend to put garlic in just about anything…
HOW TO MAKE TOMATO AVOCADO MOZZARELLA SALAD
Step 1: Slice all the tomatoes and arrange them on a salad platter or on individual serving plates.
Step 2: Slice the mozzarella and arrange it on the platter, either by overlapping it with the tomato slices or on the opposite side of the platter.
Step 3: Sprinkle the avocado with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle everything generously with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
Step 4: Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add the grated garlic clove. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper, but remember that the salad is already salted, so don’t add as much salt to the dressing as you would usually do.
Step 5: Pour the dressing over the salad and arrange the basil leaves on top. Serve immediately.
That’s it! A simple salad for any time you want something light, easy and amazing tasting for dinner, a tomato avocado and mozzarella salad that will probably become an addiction.
MORE SIMPLE AVOCADO RECIPES:
The recipe serves two as a light main meal with bread or four as an appetizer or side dish.
- Tomato avocado and mozzarella salad:
- 1 large beef tomato
- 2 medium tomatoes (See note 1)
- 2 balls of mozzarella (See note 2)
- 1 ripe avocado
- a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 10-15 fresh basil leaves, depending on size
- sea salt flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, to taste
- 1 small garlic clove
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Tomato avocado and mozzarella salad:
Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on a salad platter or on individual serving plates.
Slice the mozzarella and arrange it on the platter, either by overlapping it with the tomato slices or on the opposite side of the platter. Arrange the avocado slices as well.
Sprinkle the avocado with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle everything generously with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add the grated garlic clove. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper, but remember that the salad is already salted, so don't add as much salt to the dressing as you would usually do.
Pour the dressing over the salad and arrange the basil leaves on top. Serve immediately.
1. You can use either a combination of ripe tomatoes: beefsteak tomato, regular tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, cherry tomatoes etc or only one sort of tomatoes. Just make sure that they are perfectly ripe and sweet.
2. Or use burrata instead.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 of the salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 667mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 16g