Bring the Farm-to-Table Trend to Your Next Dinner Party

Caprese Salad Captures the Best Late-Summer Flavors the Northwest Has to Offer

Article by Lindsay Sellin, ARNP, RD

Photography by Lindsay Sellin

Originally published in Kirkland Lifestyle

September in Kirkland—The evenings stay light, and the air is still warm, perfect for alfresco dining. A caprese salad captures the best late-summer flavors the Northwest has to offer. Luckily, our local farmers markets are bursting with the ripest tomatoes and bushels of basil so you can bring the farm-to-table trend right to your next dinner party. Keep it traditional and serve caprese as a side salad or first course, or utilize the ingredients in an interesting take on bruschetta for an appetizer.    

Here are a few ideas to bring some style to the classic caprese salad and take it to the next level: 

  • Use a variety of heirloom tomatoes to add a rainbow of colors and a mixture of shapes and textures.

  • Incorporate nectarines or peaches. Their sweetness is unexpected yet perfectly balances the tomato and mozzarella.

  • Try burrata, a cream-filled fresh mozzarella made from buffalo or cow's milk. Once only available at trendy restaurants, you can now find burrata at Metropolitan Market, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. 

  • Sweet basil is classic, but other herbs like cilantro or parsley can work well here too.

  • Choose high-impact finishes, such as a drizzle of flavor-infused olive oil, good-quality balsamic vinegar, flake sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. 

Caprese Salad Turned Up

Serves 3-4 people


4 ounces burrata

2-3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick 

1 large nectarine, halved, then sliced 1/4 inch thick

8-10 large basil leaves

1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Flake sea salt

Freshly cracked pepper


  1. Place burrata in the center of a flat, round serving platter.

  2. Alternate placing the tomato slices, nectarine slices and basil leaves in an overlapping fashion surrounding the burrata.

  3. In a saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar over medium heat. Cook until thickened and reduced by half; it should coat a wooden spoon. 

  4. Drizzle the whole dish with the reduced balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

  5. Generously season with salt and pepper. 

Pesto Caprese Crostini

Makes about 20 crostini


1 baguette, sliced a 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into large dice

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into large dice

Freshly cracked pepper

2 tablespoons, pesto, homemade or store-bought

1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 

  2. Place baguette slices on a sheet pan. Brush both sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with a pinch of salt.

  3. Bake crostini in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until barely golden on the edges. Remove from oven to wire rack to cool.

  4. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper.

  5. In a saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar over medium heat. Cook until thickened and reduced by half; it should coat a wooden spoon. 

  6. Top cooled crostini with a thin layer of pesto then a heaping tablespoon of the mozzarella-tomato mixture. 

  7. Place prepared crostini on a platter and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.

Follow Lindsay Sellin, ARNP, RD, on Instagram at @sheeatstolive

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