Insalata Caprese: Tomato & Mozzarella salad with Smoked Chilli Oil

Mark Hughes Appetisers & Starters, Light Lunches, Oils, Salads, Side Dishes 0 Comments

One of the most obvious uses for any good oil is a salad dressing. But, the classic combo of 3 parts oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar is usually reserved (at least, in our book) for a salad that’s robust enough to cope; for a baby leaf salad or rocket leaves we normally just use a drizzle of balsamic vinegar as thee find this keeps it lighter and fresher.

But one salad that can take the addition of a good oil is Insalata Caprese. Literally translated, this salad in the style of Capri is Italy on a plate: simple yet bold flavours that offer a flavour far greater than the sum of its three simple parts, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Unlike many other salads in Italy, this is traditionally served as an antipasto (starter) rather than a side dish.

So, imagine how pleased we were when local foodie Carmela from Carmela’s Kitchen decided to create just such a recipe using our Smoked Chilli Oil. Pictures are copyright of Carmela.


  • SmokedChilliOil2 beef tomatoes, sliced – not too thinly
  • 250g mozzarella, sliced or simply torn
  • Smoked Chilli Oil to drizzle
  • 10 Olives, green and black sliced (buy the ones with stones, not the pitted ones)
  • 7 basil leaves, torn
  • Half a tsp of oregano (dried is fine)
  • Half a tsp capers, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to season


  1. Slice the tomatoes and place on a serving dish
  2. Tear the mozzarella for a rustic look
  3. Place the mozzarella on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the olives, capers and tear (don’t chop) the fresh basil over too. Sprinkle over the oregano.
  4. If you’d like any cured meats, just fold these in ribbons around the plate as well
  5. Drizzle over the Smoked Chilli Oil, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
OK, we know that adding the olives is almost a homage to a Greek salad, but if you like them, why not? After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? You’ll find the saltiness of the olives, the sharp – almost sour – capers and the creamy mozzarella is the perfect foil for the ripe, sweet tomatoes.

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