All summer long, I’ll be making this strawberry salad. It is stunning, simple to create, and quite delicious. What else could we ask for?
This salad borrows certain ingredients from the traditional Caprese salad but features diced strawberries. Instead of using mozzarella, I substituted crumbled goat cheese and drizzled thick balsamic vinegar on top.
I garnished it with a ton of fresh basil, some salt, and pepper, as well as a drizzle of olive oil. This salad balances sweet and savory flavors, and it is delicious.
The end product is spectacular. You’ll love the outcomes if you utilize red, juicy strawberries and premium components. Salute to quick summer salads!
Strawberry-Basil Salad Tips
Use thick balsamic vinegar.
In other words, use high quality balsamic vinegar or buy/make balsamic reduction. Both options offer intense flavor and look pretty (runny balsamic vinegars will travel straight to the bottom of the plate). See the recipe notes for my suggestions.
Double the recipe for a crowd.
The recipe as written calls for 1 pound strawberries and 1/2 log of goat cheese. To double the recipe, just grab another pound of strawberries and make sure you have plenty of basil.
This salad is beautiful and looks best when it’s served promptly. If you’re transporting this salad, you might want to wait and drizzle the olive oil and vinegar on top just before serving.
Change it up.
You can easily substitute sliced fresh peaches for some or all of the strawberries. Another idea? Serve this salad over fresh, leafy greens, with an extra little drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top.
Also read: Best Tabbouleh
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, diced
- Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup, to taste
- 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese (about ½ cup)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus a few small basil leaves for garnish
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon thick balsamic vinegar*
- ½ teaspoon Maldon flaky sea salt or a scant ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Spread the diced strawberries across a medium serving platter or shallow serving bowl. If the strawberries aren’t sweet enough to your liking, toss them with a bit of honey or maple syrup.
- Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over the strawberries, followed by the chopped basil. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top.
- Finish off the salad with the salt, a few twists of freshly ground black pepper, and the reserved basil leaves. For the most beautiful presentation, serve the salad promptly. Leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator, though, for about 3 days.
MAKE IT DAIRY FREE/VEGAN: You could potentially omit the goat cheese altogether, or substitute a few dollops of vegan sour cream. For a vegan salad, use maple syrup instead of honey, if using at all.
*BALSAMIC VINEGAR NOTE: For a beautiful drizzle, use high-quality, thick balsamic vinegar (I love Napa Valley Naturals’ Grand Reserve Vinegar—it’s about $10 at Natural Grocers or other well-stocked grocery stores—make sure you get the bottle with “25 stars” on it) or store-bought balsamic glaze/reduction (DeLallo and Alessi make them). You can use regular runny balsamic for less beautiful results, or make your own balsamic reduction by following the note below.
HOW TO MAKE BALSAMIC REDUCTION: Bring 1 cup (or more) runny balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small, thick bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often, until the vinegar is reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the reduction to cool, then transfer to an air-tight jar and store in the pantry. Balsamic reduction is great on everything from pizza to ice cream, Caprese and green salads, and more.