Bursting with flavors and wholesome ingredients, Arugula Mozzarella Salad with Tomatoes is a delightful combination of peppery arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy mini mozzarella balls, drizzled with a tangy balsamic dressing. This delicious and healthy Arugula Caprese Salad is an interesting and refreshing twist of a classic Caprese that can be served as an appetizer, a side dish, or even a light dinner.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick and Easy: With its simple preparation and minimal ingredients, this salad is a breeze to make. It’s ready in just 5 minutes! It’s perfect for those busy days when you want a healthy and delicious meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
- Delicious and Refreshing: The combination of peppery arugula, sweet tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella creates a harmonious blend of flavors and a burst of fresh flavors with each bite. The addition of the tangy balsamic dressing and aromatic Italian seasoning enhances the taste profile, taking the salad to a whole new level of deliciousness.
- Light and Healthy: As a light and refreshing salad, it’s an ideal choice for those seeking for a healthy and satisfying option. It’s low in calories but rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
- Versatile and Customizable: This salad offers endless possibilities for customization. From adding fresh basil leaves for a classic Caprese twist to exploring different cheese variations and additional ingredients, you can tailor the salad to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.
- Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, enjoying a family meal, or simply craving a nutritious lunch, this Arugula Mozzarella Salad fits any occasion. It’s versatile enough to serve as a side dish or a standalone appetizer. The colorful combination of vibrant arugula, bright red cherry tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella balls also makes this salad visually appealing.
- Arugula. Slightly bitter notes of arugula create a fantastic contrast between the cherry tomatoes’ sweetness and the mozzarella’s creaminess. Arugula also has many health benefits, being packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants.
- Cherry Tomatoes. Juicy, vibrant, and bursting with flavor, cherry tomatoes are the perfect companion to arugula in this salad.
- Mini Mozzarella Balls. Mini mozzarella balls, or bocconcini, are the star of this salad, providing a creamy and mild taste that perfectly complements the arugula and cherry tomatoes. This bite-sized cheese adds a luxurious touch to the dish, delivering a smooth and delicate texture with every bite.
- Balsamic Dressing. The dressing plays a crucial role in bringing all the flavors together. Here’s what you’ll need for the dressing:
- Extra-virgin Olive Oil. A high-quality extra-virgin olive oil adds a luscious richness and depth to the dressing.
- Balsamic Vinegar. The tangy and slightly sweet notes of balsamic vinegar elevate the dressing, adding a delightful acidity and balancing the flavors.
- Italian Seasoning. A blend of Italian herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary adds a savory and aromatic touch to the dressing, infusing the salad with a Mediterranean flair.
- Salt and Pepper bring out the flavors of the salad, enhancing each ingredient’s taste.
How to Make Arugula Mozzarella Salad
In just a few simple steps, you can prepare this delicious salad:
- In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, cherry tomatoes (halved), and mini mozzarella balls.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper until well combined. This will be the dressing for the salad.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl. Gently toss the salad to ensure all the ingredients are coated with the dressing.
That’s it! It’s a quick and easy recipe that takes only 5 minutes to make. Enjoy the fresh flavors and vibrant combination of ingredients in this delightful dish.
Tips for Success
- Freshness is Key: Choose the freshest ingredients possible. Look for vibrant arugula leaves, plump and ripe cherry tomatoes, and mini mozzarella balls that are soft and creamy. Using high-quality fresh ingredients will significantly enhance the flavors of the salad.
- Wash and Dry the Arugula: Arugula leaves can sometimes retain moisture, which can make the salad wilt quickly. Ensure to wash and thoroughly dry the arugula leaves before assembling the salad.
- Dress Just Before Serving: To maintain the crispness of the arugula and the freshness of the ingredients, it’s best to dress the salad just before serving. This prevents the salad from becoming soggy and preserves its vibrant appearance.
- Season and Taste: Don’t forget to season the salad to your liking. After tossing the salad with the dressing, taste it and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or Italian seasoning as desired.
Ideas to Customize
- Classic Caprese Twist: For a traditional Caprese, add a handful of fresh basil leaves to the salad. The combination of basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes creates a timeless and irresistible blend.
- Arugula Substitution: If you prefer a milder green, you can substitute arugula with baby spinach or a mix of baby greens. This modification will provide a more delicate flavor profile while still maintaining the essence of the salad.
- Cheese Variations: While mini mozzarella balls are the classic choice, you can experiment with other types of cheese to suit your taste. Try using sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella for a richer and creamier texture, or crumbled goat or feta cheese for a tangy and unique flavor profile.
- Nutty Crunch: For a delightful crunch, sprinkle some toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts over the salad just before serving.
- Drizzle with Pesto: Elevate the flavor profile by drizzling homemade pesto over the salad. The herbaceous and garlicky notes of the pesto perfectly complement the fresh ingredients in the salad.
- Add Avocado: For an even creamier and more nutritious twist, add sliced avocado to the salad. The creamy texture of avocado pairs well with the peppery arugula and adds a touch of richness to the dish.
- Add Sliced Red Onion: Add a hint of sharpness and crunch by including thinly sliced red onions in the salad. The tangy flavor of the onions complements the sweetness of the tomatoes and balances the creaminess of the mozzarella.
- Vegan Option: Replace the mini mozzarella balls with marinated tofu cubes or vegan cheese alternatives. Look for plant-based mozzarella cheese or opt for creamy vegan cheese with a mild flavor.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and customize the salad based on your personal taste preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy the process of creating your unique variation of this delightful salad!
What to Serve with Arugula Salad
The pairing of the Arugula Mozzarella Salad with other dishes will create a delightful and well-balanced meal. The contrasting flavors, textures, and colors will make each dish shine, while the salad adds a fresh and vibrant element to the overall dining experience. In Italy Caprese salad can be enjoyed as a starter (antipasto) and also a side dish (contorno). Whether you’re looking for a light and refreshing option or a heartier combination, here are some ideas of the dishes that will pair the salad beautifully:
- Baked Feta Pasta: The refreshing salad provides a delightful contrast to the warm and cheesy Baked Feta Pasta.
- Black Salsify Fritters: The crispy and earthy black salsify fritters pair perfectly with the freshness of the Arugula Mozzarella Salad. The fritters provide a unique texture and flavor contrast.
- Canned Tuna Pasta: The light and vibrant salad pairs wonderfully with the heartiness of the tuna pasta, providing a refreshing element to balance the richness of the dish.
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Baby Peppers: The salad adds a fresh and crisp element that perfectly balances the richness of the peppers, creating a delicious combination.
- Baked Purple Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Black Beans: The vibrant and refreshing Arugula Salad complements the flavors of the meal, adding a burst of freshness.
- Vegetarian Beetroot Burgers: The light and crisp salad pairs beautifully with the flavors of the vegetarian beetroot burgers.
These suggestions should create a delicious and well-balanced meal when paired with the Arugula Mozzarella Salad. Enjoy!
How to Store
This Arugula Mozzarella Salad is best enjoyed fresh, so it’s recommended to assemble the salad just before serving for optimal texture and flavors. But if you want to make the salad in advance, prepare the ingredients and store the dressing separately from the salad components to prevent the arugula from wilting and maintain the salad’s crispness.
If you have leftover salad, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness. Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container or cover the salad bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Store it in the refrigerator.
If you’re packing the salad for a picnic or as a packed lunch, keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to eat. Pack the dressing in a small, leak-proof container and drizzle it over the salad just before enjoying it.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
I hope you will enjoy this refreshing and bright dish as much as I do. With its simple yet delightful flavors, and combination of arugula, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella balls, this Arugula Caprese Salad is a perfect choice for a light and satisfying appetizer or side dish. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, enjoying a family meal, or simply craving a nutritious lunch, this salad fits any occasion.
- 4 cups (120 g) arugula
- 1.5 cups (225 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 oz (225 g) mini mozzarella balls
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large salad bowl, add arugula, cherry tomatoes, and mini mozzarella balls.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl.
- Gently toss the salad to coat the ingredients with the dressing, being careful not to crush the mozzarella balls.
- Taste the salad and season with additional salt, pepper, or Italian seasoning if desired. Allow the flavors to meld together for a few minutes before serving. Serve and enjoy!