Avocado caprese salad highlights the best of summer. It’s loaded with fresh off the vine tomatoes, avocado, and fragrant basil. It’s then topped in a simple basil vinaigrette. Vegan & gluten-free.
There’s not much better than a ripe, summer tomato. Winter tomatoes can be mealy and a little bland. But summer tomatoes? Juicy, sweet, and inviting.
That’s why once summer arrives, I find every excuse to eat fragrant tomatoes, still warm off the vine. I’ll happily eat them right out of my palm – apple style.
I use them in an easy bruschetta appetizer or squeezed into farmers market juice. And when they’re not quite ripe, of course, I’m never sad about fried green tomatoes cooked in the air fryer or skillet.
Another classic way to use a bumper crop of tomatoes is caprese salad.
What is a caprese salad?
Caprese salad is a simple dish that allows its few ingredients to shine. It’s typically made with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil seasoned with olive oil & salt. (The hues of red, white, and green highlight the colors of the Italian flag.)
Since this is a vegan caprese salad, I’ve taken a few liberties and strayed from the standard.
Instead of using mozzarella, I chose avocado. Full of buttery, fatty goodness, it makes this easy salad irresistible.
(Of course, if you’d prefer, you could use Miyoko’s cashew-based mozzarella. Either the regular version or the smoked one would be delicious here. Read more about my preferred vegan cheeses in the post, The Best Vegan Cheese For Your Every Need.)
With just a few delicious ingredients, this isn’t the kind of salad that makes you poke around, looking for a good bite. Every single bite is exactly the one you want.
Instead of olive oil alone, I opted for a balsamic vinaigrette with fresh basil.
This basil vinaigrette is made with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped garlic, and basil. Blend it in a blender until smooth and full bodied.
Be warned that the greenish brown color of the dressing is not the prettiest shade you’ve ever seen in your life. But the taste is oh, so good.
Once it’s time for dinner, put out the serving bowl of salad. Then let guests top their own individual salads with dressing.
How long will avocado caprese last?
Because this vegan caprese salad uses avocado, I recommend eating it all in one go. Cut avocado just doesn’t look as pretty the next day. So make the amount you need for your meal and enjoy every last bite.
What to serve with it?
Avocado caprese salad is best with a crusty loaf of bread. A quality olive oil & dukka for dipping would also be nice here. (Dukka is one of my favorite Trader Joe’s vegan products.)
Avocado caprese salad with basil vinaigrette
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic chopped
- 2 Tablespoons chopped basil + a few leaves extra for garnish
- 2 medium to large tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 avocado cubed
- Pinch salt
- To make the dressing: in a blender, blend extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and 2 Tablespoons chopped basil until completely combined.
- In a bowl, toss tomatoes and avocado. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing. Top with a pinch of salt and garnish with a few leaves of basil (chopped or whole).
Originally posted August 2014. Content updated June 2019.