Lemon-Basil Strawberry Caprese Recipe

by valentina on June 4, 2013

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I’ve been tasting strawberries for the past few weeks at my local Farmer’s Market, and they’re getting sweeter and sweeter, and this past Sunday they were so amazing that I bought two, three packs at once.  To be clear, that’s six baskets!

Today I have five single strawberries left.

Sure I there’s my husband and two boys, but my husband isn’t into strawberries (imagine that!?) — and my boys, well, they each got a few in their lunch yesterday. Then of course, a dozen were used in this recipe.

I single-handedly ate the rest.  You do the math. ;-) Isn’t this a gorgeous summer hors d’oeuvre?  I’m in love with it.

And even though I’m going on and on about strawberries, I’m going to be featuring basil in my next few recipes.  Next up: Chilled Cucumber Basil Soup.  And then Spicy Sriracha Basil Salmon Burgers.  It’s going to be a delicious week.

Lemon-Basil Strawberry Caprese Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 1 dozen


About 2 dozen small to medium sized fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (see notes)

Zest from 1 medium-sized lemon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

4-ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, drained and cut into 2 dozen cubes

1 dozen medium-sized fresh strawberries, washed and dried

Freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a small bowl, combine the basil leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, salt and sugar.
  2. Add the cubed mozzarella and gently toss to be sure all of the cheese is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator, and marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. While the cheese is marinating, cut the strawberries, horizontally, into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices. (There will be a handful of "scraps" that you should eat. Right now, while you're cooking. Delicious!)
  4. Remove the marinating cheese from the refrigerator and place 1 dozen of the largest strawberry slices on a serving plate. Place one piece of cheese on top of each strawberry base, being sure to pick up bits of basil and lemon zest with each one. Add a second slice of strawberry on top, followed by another piece of cheese (again, well coated with basil and zest). Now gently stick a toothpick through each stack.
  5. Crack black pepper over the entire plate and serve. (Be generous with the pepper, it adds a nice kick to the sweetness of the berries.)


To thinly slice the basil, pile the leaves on top of each other to form a stack. Roll them up tightly, lengthwise, and then horizontally, cut this roll into thin slices. (This cut is called a chiffonade.)


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Amee June 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

This is so beautiful. You alway vary your presentation so well. Beautiful combination of sweet/savory…


valentina June 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Thank you, Aimée! :-)


Arthur in the Garden! June 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Wow! Wonderful!


valentina June 4, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Arthur, thanks so much! Hope you try it!


Colette @ JFF! June 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I like how you think out of the box.


valentina June 4, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Colette, I love people like you who like the “out-of-the-box” creations! XO


Deb June 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Ruby red and bursting with sweetness there is nothing quite like fresh strawberries! Adore the idea of caprese salad with strawberry; an inspired recipe!


Lauren June 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Would this be good with goat cheese instead of mozz??


valentina June 5, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Hi Lauren! Yes it would delicious — only don’t attempt to marinate the goat cheese, just drizzle the lemon-basil mixture over them when they’re done. :-D


Lauren June 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Yes I was thinking marinating wouldn’t work
With the goat cheese. I may try them both ways.. Some with goat cheese and some with mozzerrella!!


valentina June 6, 2013 at 12:48 am

Sounds good, Lauren. Enjoy! :-)


sippitysup June 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I can’t do the math my mouth is full. GREG


David June 5, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Unbelievable! Aren’t you glad you thought of this combo? Truly inspired…


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