Waiter, There’s Something In My…Ensalada Caprese!

Caprese SaladSummertime means salad. I already shared with you about my willingness to cut vegetables and ease of leaving fruit to one side. I adore most vegetables. Salads then are an easy meal for me.

In almost any deli or coffee shop, you can find an Ensalada Caprese and often you can order a Caprese Sandwich. Insalata Caprese literally means salad from Capri and was created in the 1950s at the Trattoria da Vincenzo for regulars out for a light lunch, according to Epicurious. The red, white and green colors represent the colors of the Italian flag. Typically, the tomatoes and mozzarella are sliced and layered with basil leaves to form a salad platter.

In Peru, as well as other Latin countries, a lot of queso fresco is eaten. When driving through the mountains of Peru, it is not unusual to see donkeys with milk canisters tied to their sides. Slowly and steadily, they are taken to a milk collection site. Sometimes that milk is sold to be pasteurized in a larger factory. But each mountain city has a collection point where they make queso fresco by boiling the milk, “cutting” it (I have no idea what the English word is for this!). The cottage cheese like whey is then pressed until blocks of queso fresco are formed.

Understandably, a true Insalata Caprese includes only fresh mozzarella and fresh picked tomatoes. But, here I have adapted the recipe to feature the mild queso fresco and fresh Roma tomatoes. The ingredients form a healthy and delicious combination.

Ensalada Caprese

Yield: 1 serving


  • 2 Roma tomatoes, cubed
  • 100 grams of queso fresco, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons of thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  1. Create a checkerboard base with the tomatoes and cheese. Add two more layers, placing the items on opposite colors. Sprinkle the top with fresh basil and drizzle with olive oil. Of course, you can also slice and layer if you are not into checkerboards!

Ensalada Caprese is being served up for Waiter, There’s Something in My…Salad, hosted this month by Andrew at Spittoon Extra.

Gretchen Noelle

My love of food was cultivated early on by my family but has come alive while living in Peru. During the 12 years of living in Lima, Peru, I have also enjoyed numerous trips to other areas of the country. Here on Provecho Peru you will find Peruvian recipes in English, American favorites prepared overseas, news about Peruvian Cuisine and interesting tidbits about life in Peru.

You may also like...

26 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    Those are so pretty Gretchen, like little works of art.

  2. Aran Goyoaga says:

    I love caprese and this looks so much fun!

  3. Jessy and her dog Winnie says:

    Wow such a pretty presentation!

  4. Karen says:

    My favorite salad, in a clever presentation! I love it! This one would sure impress.

  5. ilingc says:

    Hi Gretchen,This is my favourite salad too. I love how you’ve stacked them in blocks. It reminds me of a red and white rubix cube 🙂

  6. Alanna says:

    I just had to say hi, because my name is Alanna Noelle. 🙂

  7. Annemarie says:

    thanks for the story about queso fresco – wasn’t aware of how it was done. Very pretty and summery salad.

  8. Mrs. L says:

    What I would give for fresh tomatoes right now to make this. I can’t wait for summer to get here.

  9. Amy says:

    MMM…insalata caprese is one of my all-time favorite salads, and I love the checkerboard presentation of yours! I actually just tried queso fresco for the first time a few weeks ago – I can imagine how tasty it would be in this salad. Yum!

  10. michelle @ Us vs. Food says:

    i love the presentation – like an ensalada frank gehry!

  11. Jaime says:

    yum! this is one of my all time favorites “salads”! love your presentation :)oh, and i wish it was summer here!

  12. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Julie – Thanks!Aran – Tricky but fun!Jessy – Thanks so much!Karen – Your favorite salad???Ilingc – Rubik’s cube?! What a great way to look at it!Alanna – Thanks for stopping by! I will be visiting your blog again soon!Annemarie – I will be looking for pictures. I am just not sure I have them anymore.Mrs. L – Mmm…summer does bring us some lovely things!Any – Thanks so much! I am glad you liked queso fresco. It is such a wonderful cheese!Michelle – Thanks!

  13. Bellini Valli says:

    I love the checkerboard design of the salad…very innovative 😀 I wonder if I can find queso freso here…I just found halloumi so anything is possible 😀

  14. Cakelaw says:

    I never thought I’d say this about a salad but – this is cute!

  15. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    This salad is a staple in our house, but I’ve never constructed it in a checkerboard fashion before. How creative!

  16. White On Rice Couple says:

    Oh wow! you write about Peruvian food! Awesome! We’ve been wanting to learn more! Can’t wait to go through your archives for some cooking lessons!

  17. nicisme says:

    You really made a fabulous job of this simple salad – well done!

  18. Helene says:

    Great job. Looks really good and yummy.

  19. Passionate baker...& beyond says:

    Oooh I love the look of your caprese. Work of art! The checkerboard idea is FAB! I gotta try it…will probably do it with cottage cheese. This is so goooood!

  20. Passionate baker...& beyond says:

    Oooh I love the look of your caprese. Work of art! The checkerboard idea is FAB! I gotta try it…will probably do it with cottage cheese. This is so goooood!

  21. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Bellini – Thanks! It was very fun! Cakelaw – It was a “cute” salad!Susan – I love the salad, but this makes it fun!WOR – I do! That is great, hope you are back again soon!Nicisme – Thanks!Helene – Thank you, it was delicious!Passionate baker – It was a fun presentation. I am not sure cottage cheese would hold up. Maybe mozzarella or feta?

  22. chou says:

    I really like your presentation–it takes caprese to a whole new level. Yum!

  23. Jo. says:

    Very nice plating. Fresh. Original. Bravo!!!

  24. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Chou – Thanks, it was fun!Jo – Thank you!

  25. Tartelette says:

    Cute cute cute! Fabulous construction job, I am calling you next time the neighbor’s kids want to pkay with Lego!

  26. Andrew says:

    loveing the presentation. thanks for the entry to waiter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: