Caprese salad with crispy salami & avocado

Caprese salad is a life staple. A must. A constant. This classic can be found everywhere. Few salads can get away with such austere components, but this one does. 

What’s great about caprese is how simple it is. Even if it doesn’t have super high quality ingredients, it’s good and satisfying. The creamy cheese. The tart, acidic tomato. The sweet balsamic. The basil. The fatty, luscious oil. Salt. Pepper. All together now. I can’t get enough.

I found myself in a conundrum, though, when I gave up cheese. Tomatoes are wonderful, but they won’t get the job done when I have a hankering for my caprese. So I subbed in avocado because it’s the most luxurious food ever (don’t argue with me), but it was still missing something.

I toasted up some salami in the oven (because texture), which added a beautiful contrast to the usual mush mush of this salad. Plus, salt and fat and pig, which is always good in my book.

I made this for Valentine’s day, and my boyfriend ate it with a nice, hefty portion of burrata. Which, I must say, there’s no substitution for. Except all the components of this salad, together.

Caprese salad with avocado & crispy salami

Serves 4


2 ounces thinly sliced salami (can also sub prosciutto or your favorite charcuterie)
4 large tomatoes, preferably heirloom, mixed colors, sliced 1/2″ thick crosswise
1 pint cherry tomatoes, mixed colors if you can find them, halved crosswise
1 bunch basil, leaves left whole
1 hass avocado, sliced into wedges
Good olive oil
Good, syrupy balsamic
Kosher salt & pepper
Set oven at 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Add the salami slices to the baking sheet in one single layer and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the salami is fragrant and crisp but still a bit pliable. It’ll firm up as a “chip” as it cools.
On a large platter, scatter the tomato slices. Place the cherry tomato halves on top. Tuck the basil leaves and avocado under and around the tomatoes. Drizzle the balsamic and olive oil generously over everything. Sprinkle with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper. The salad is better if it marinates for 15 minutes, but that’s optional.
Once you’re ready to eat, crush the salami slices on top of the whole salad and dig in.

Leave a Reply

  1. Looking forward to trying this with salami!

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