Caprese Salad with Fried Capers and Basil

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


Briny and slightly crispy fried capers punch up the flavor of this classic Italian tomato and mozzarella salad. This recipe first appeared with Leah Koenig's web-exclusive story One Ingredient, Many Ways: Capers.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food


  • Olive oil, for frying and drizzling
  • 14 cup brine-packed capers, drained and patted dry
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, patted dry
  • 3 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4” thick
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4” thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling


Step 1

Pour oil into a 2-qt. saucepan until a depth of 1⁄2” is reached. Heat over medium-high heat. Add capers and cook, stirring occasionally, until popped open and crisp, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Working in batches, fry basil leaves until crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Step 2

To serve, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices in an alternating pattern on a serving plate. Tuck the fried basil pieces between the tomato and mozzarella, season to taste with salt and pepper, and scatter with fried capers. Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil.

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