The base for our Caprese Salad with Cherry Tomato Balsamic Reduction is identical to our traditionally dressed Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad, but adds the familiar component of a balsamic reduction found in most restaurant versions of the dish. Once again, we’re using sweet cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls for convenience, aesthetics, and portion control. That’s right. Since this salad comes together so quickly, it’s easy to make individual servings as needed.
The balsamic reduction is equally simple, consisting of nothing more than balsamic vinegar that has been (you guessed it) reduced. This recipe makes more than you’ll need for one batch, and you can refrigerate the surplus in a glass container up to a month. Beware of prepared reductions, as they almost always contain honey or refined sugar, neither of which are necessary or positively add to the overall flavor.
Once again, use fresh, high-quality ingredients to make this simple salad a knockout. You can even turn this recipe into Caprese Party Stacks.Print
Caprese salad made with sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella pearls and basil, topped with a sugar-free balsamic reduction.
- 1 container sweet cherry tomatoes, halved (these run 10–16 oz, so adjust remaining ingredients as needed)
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup fresh mozzarella pearls (depending on size of tomato container)
- 1/4 cup fresh thinly sliced fresh basil, more to taste if needed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Generous pinch ground black pepper
- Scant pinch salt
- Add balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about half a cup (15-20 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent burning. The vinegar will reduce to a glossy black liquid syrup that will thicken a bit more as it cools. Cool completely before using.
- Strain and measure mozzarella pearls, reserving liquid in original container for extra cheese. Taste the mozzarella before adding salt to determine how much you will need.
- Add tomatoes and mozzarella pearls to a large bowl, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently and transfer to a serving bowl or individual dishes.
- Garnish with basil to taste and serve immediately, either lightly drizzled with balsamic reduction or with reduction on the side.
Makes two servings as a main course or four as a side dish.
Note: Total prep time does not include reduction cooling time.
Keywords: caprese salad, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, light salad, lunch, Italian tomato salad, balsamic, balsamic reduction, balsamic vinegar, sugar-free