Arugula Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Vinaigrette

Arugula Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

It’s starting to warm up here in Israel. The rains are over (and what rains they were this year!), we had a proper sandstorm (not fun), and the temperature is rising every day. As soon as I get my first taste of spring I start to crave light, bright, fresh foods. That’s where this salad comes in. I got a beautiful bunch of fresh basil from my local produce market and the intoxicating smell followed me all the way home, planting the idea of this vinaigrette in my head.Consider this salad a deconstructed caprese, a dish comprised of what may just be my favorite flavor profile of all time: tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Using the best, freshest ingredients possible is of course key here. The basil vinaigrette is based on a traditional one with lemon and mustard. It can be made in advance and in fact only improves with a day or two in the fridge to allow the basil to really infuse the oil. I like to use bocconcini, which are very small balls of fresh mozzarella, but any size or shape will do. Likewise, grape tomatoes or slices of whole tomatoes can be used in place of the halved cherry tomatoes.

Arugula Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

5.0 from 3 reviews
Arugula Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Vinaigrette
Prep Time
Total Time
This deconstructed caprese salad makes an excellent light lunch, appetizer, or side. Using the best, freshest ingredients possible really makes this salad sing.
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Yield: 4 side servings or 2 main
  • 6 ounces arugula
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes (about 12), halved
  • 4 ounces bocconcini, or cubed fresh mozzarella
Basil Vinaigrette:
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch basil (about 3 ounces), leaves picked
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
For the Salad:
  1. Combine the arugula, tomatoes, and mozzarella in a salad bowl or on individual plates.
  2. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette (recipe below) over.
Basil Vinaigrette:
  1. Put the garlic in a food processor and pulse to mince.
  2. Add the basil leaves and pulse a few times.
  3. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard and process until fully combined and emulsified (there may still be small bits of basil).
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve immediately or store in a cruet or closed glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Gluten free, Kosher dairy, Vegetarian

Linked up at Tastetastic Thursdays over at A Little Nosh

56 thoughts on “Arugula Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Vinaigrette

  1. Eri

    I love this salad and your pictures Katherine, it’s almost spring, I cant wait to plant some basil and mint and fill my balcony..

  2. Suzi

    I am on a serious arugula kick right now and am even growing some from seeds. I just love that peppery flavor. The basil vinaigrette sounds wonderful. Lovely photos too, I may be spring.

  3. Tina@flourtrader

    I am so ready for spring! Picnics, outdoor festivals-they are just right around the corner. Also, so is the wonderful produce that will be rolling in.
    Your salad does look delicious-Caprese ingredients are always a welcome sight. Also,your basil vinaigrette looks awesome-definitely a good idea to have a container of this on hand. Enjoy the day!

  4. Lacy @ NYCityEats

    Oh man a sand storm! That sounds crazy! I feel the same way about spring time, the food should be fresh and light! This salad looks amazing, especially the vinaigrette! Definitely bookmarking this recipe for my next salad! Yum!

  5. Bree

    This looks beautiful! I actually made a caprese sandwich this week myself ๐Ÿ™‚
    How amazing that you live in Israel…

    • Katherine

      Thanks Abby!! Ha, a proper sandstorm involves an apocalyptic orange sky, grit and sand blowing through the sky and getting in your eyes and mouth. Then, when it’s over it rains but there’s still so much particulant matter in the sky that it literally rains mud. Pretty much the grossest weather condition I can think of!

  6. Hotly Spiced

    That salad really does remind me of Spring. What great colours – so fresh and vibrant. We’ve had plenty of rain here too! Basil and mozzarella are such a winning combination. xx

  7. Valerie

    Warm weather always makes me crave salads too! This ‘deconstructed caprese’ looks as beautiful and vibrant as I imagine it tastes. Lovely presentation…now I’m longing for summer and a healthy salad. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Suchi

    Hi Katherine, thanks for visiting my blog. You have a lovely space. Your salad looks so colourful and delish. I love lots of colour in my food and this salad just fits the bill ๐Ÿ™‚ Love your photography!

  9. kitchenriffs

    I love the mozzarella, tomato, and basil trinity. And cherry tomatoes are perfect in this รขโ‚ฌโ€ they actually have some flavor, unlike all except dead ripe regular tomatoes. Simple, nice, wonderful – great recipe, great pictures, great post! Thanks.

    • Katherine

      Thanks! It’s such a wonderful, natural flavor combination! And I agree that cherry tomatoes have such a wonderful flavor. We’re lucky to get magnificent ones in Israel.

  10. Hannah

    Oh Katherine…I am just craving bright, fresh flavors for spring. This looks divine! Happy to hear it’s warming up for you – spring is definitely coming in like a lion here. Time to make this salad and pretend it’s balmy out!

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