This Baked Heirloom Caprese Salad adds a little color and a whole lot of classic Italian flavors to your meal. Beautiful roasted heirloom tomatoes and garlic, perfectly crispy bacon, plus fresh mozzarella and basil, drizzled with warm bacon vinaigrette. This quick and easy baked Caprese salad makes the perfect low carb appetizer and can be ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Heirloom tomatoes: tomatoes aren’t technically known as a low carb staple, but in this Baked Heirloom Caprese Salad, they’re the star. With only 5g net carbs total in a serving, this recipe is one that everyone can enjoy. Heirloom tomatoes add flavor and color, and you can’t have Caprese without tomatoes! (more recipes with fresh tomatoes)
- Bacon: do not skip the bacon! In addition to deepening the savory flavor, the saltiness of the bacon plays nicely with the sweet acidity of the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar, the creaminess of the mozzarella, and the freshness of the basil and garlic. I get my favorite pastured bacon here.
- Balsamic vinegar: not to be confused with balsamic glaze, reduction, or vinaigrette, which are higher in sugar. You want regular, high quality balsamic vinegar. (I recommend this brand)
Step by Step Instructions
How to Make Baked Heirloom Caprese Salad
STEP 1: First combine the bacon fat, balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together with a fork.
STEP 2: Next, line the tomato slices in a single layer across the parchment paper and top with the garlic and bake for 30 minutes.
STEP 3: Lastly, add the fresh mozzarella slices and crumbled bacon over the top, drizzle over the bacon vinaigrette. Sprinkle over a little salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Prep notes: slice the tomatoes to a uniform thickness (about ½ inch thick) so that they bake evenly.
- Change up the cheese: switch up the flavors and textures in this Baked Heirloom Caprese Salad by swapping mozzarella with fresh burrata cheese. It is also amazing with shaved Parmesan, crumbled feta, or even goat cheese. Smoked mozzarella is also an excellent choice. Can you tell that I really love cheese?
- Storage: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. I like to add the leftovers to a salad, on top of salmon, on a sandwich, or even as toppings for Pizza Eggs.
- Serving: you can plate this Caprese salad on individual plates as an appetizer, or serve it alongside a protein like this Herbed Butter Roasted Chicken or these Lemon Garlic Pork Steaks to make it a full meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
In Italian, Caprese salad is insalata Caprese, which means “salad of Capri,” an island in Italy. Typically, Caprese salads are made with sliced tomato and mozzarella, fresh basil, salt and pepper, and olive oil. This baked Caprese was created in the same style as insalata Caprese, with a fun remix.
Don’t let the funny shape throw you off! Heirloom tomato seeds are passed down from farmer to farmer, season to season. Cultivated for their beautiful colors, juiciness, and texture, heirloom tomatoes put the flavorless monocropped grocery store tomatoes to shame. The best place to purchase heirloom tomatoes is at the farmer’s market, where you can meet the person who harvests them.
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