This baked stone fruit caprese salad is a healthy summer salad that combines creamy mozzarella with peaches, nectarines and cherries. It is flavoured with fresh basil and can be served as an appetiser, lunch or light dinner.
My family always loves salads for summer picnics and BBQs. Perhaps you may like to also see my roasted vegetable panzanella and apple, fennel and radish salad for more fresh and light ideas to share with your loved ones.
This caprese salad without tomatoes is light and fresh, with the most delightful sweetness from the fruit. Perfect as an easy lunch, or alongside other dishes for entertaining!
What is a fruit caprese salad?
Traditional Italian caprese salad is mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, with a good glug of olive oil. There are so many variations now though, and it is such an adaptable recipe. I've seen a fair few caprese salads using fruit, and one of my favourite cafes in London does one with stone fruit, which is delicious.
My version is a take on that recipe, but without tomatoes. It lightly bakes the stone fruit to bring out their sweetness and to make it feel a little more indulgent. You don't have to bake the fruit, but I think it is delicious, and hope you like it too!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Fresh and light - the fresh fruit, creamy mozzarella and basil are full of flavour but don't feel heavy at all. Perfect as an appetizer or a lunch idea.
- Seasonal produce - this makes the most of the delicious stone fruit in season during the summer months.
- Easy to make - just a few steps to make the recipe.
Stone fruit caprese salad is always a 'few ingredients' recipe, and very simple to make. You will need:
- Mozzarella: you want the fresh mozzarella that comes in a packet with liquid. Tear or slice to your preference.
- Stone fruit: always abundant in summer and so sweet and flavourful when baked. Adjust the quantities to those fruits you like the best.
- Basil: the most delightful Italian herb that I grow on my windowsill every year. Its flavour compliments the cheese and fruit so well.
- Olive oil: use an extra virgin olive oil for the best flavour. I like the Filipo Berio extra virgin olive oil as it tastes great and is easy to get hold of.
- Honey: to add that indulgent flavour and bring out the sweetness of the fruit. I use Rowse honey.
Variations on ingredients
There are many stone fruits to choose from, so pick those you like best. As well as peaches, nectarines, apricots and cherries, there are also plums when in season and mango too. I haven't ever tried this recipe with mango but I think it would have a lovely, slightly tropical taste!
If you prefer, you can always use burrata in place of mozzarella cheese. Burrata is softer and has an even more creamy taste.
Any salad leaves will be lovely, but be mindful that spinach is high histamine so best avoided if you follow this diet. I often use lamb's lettuce in place of arugula.
Step by step instructions
This salad is very easy to make, with just a bit of baking time for the fruit to become soft and even sweeter.
- Scatter the fruit on a baking tray (with the exception of the cherries) and drizzle with a little honey. Bake for around 15 minutes, then add the cherries. Bake for another 7-8 minutes.
- While the fruit is baking, tear the mozzarella and arrange on your plate with the arugula.
- Carefully spoon off a tablespoon or so of the fruit juices, and once cooled combine with the other dressing ingredients.
- Add the fruit to your plate and drizzle over the dressing.
Tips for making this recipe
- The main tip for making this fruit caprese salad is to use ripe fruit. Not overly ripe, but definitely ripe! Using fruit that is still hard means that it won't taste as sweet and it also won't release its juices to make the salad dressing.
- Using extra virgin olive oil rather than olive oil is always better for salads as it has a much richer flavour.
- To make life easier, use a cherry de-stoner (it seems less messy too!).
How to serve this caprese salad
Caprese salad can be served on its own, perhaps with a fun summer drink as an appetizer or light lunch.
For some sides to make it a more filling meal, then you could serve with a crusty bread roll (if you tolerate bread), or if not then my multi-seed crackers are so easy to make and a great gluten-free option.
Related post: Multi-seed crackers
A note on vinegar for my low histamine friends
Vinegar is a debated topic in terms of histamine. Some vinegars such as balsamic, red and white wine vinegar score as high histamine on the SIGHI list and so likely best avoided.
Other vinegars, particularly white distilled vinegar, are thought to be lower histamine (although not histamine-free). It rates as 0 on the SIGHI list. Personally I use the Heinz white distilled vinegar.
The dressing in this recipe doesn't need to have a vinegar as it uses the juices from the baked fruit for flavour. If you want to leave out the vinegar then I think it still tastes great, but won't have that acidic tang. More a gentle sweetness.
You may like to see my low histamine recipes page for more tasty dishes suitable for this diet!
More salad recipes for summer to enjoy
Stone fruit caprese salad
- 2 apricots cut into halves or quarters
- 1 peach cut into quarters
- 1 nectarine cut into quarters
- handful cherries de-stoned and halved
- 1 ball mozzarella torn into pieces
- handful basil leaves
- ½ bag rocket / arugula
- 1 teaspoon honey
For the fruit dressing
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper optional
- fruit juice (from the baked fruit)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar optional
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Once at temperature scatter the fruit (with the exception of the cherries) on an ovenproof baking tray and drizzle with a teaspoon of honey. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fruit has started to soften. Adjust the time depending upon how ripe the fruit is.
- Add the cherries to the tray and bake for a further 7-8 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and carefully spoon out a couple of teaspoon of the fruit juices that will have collected in the tray. Set aside the fruit and the juice to cool.
- Arrange the arugala on a plate, then add the fruit, mozzarella and basil.
- Make the dressing by combining the ingredients, and drizzle over the salad.
- Use stone fruits that you prefer or have to hand.
- The fruit needs to be ripe for the best sweetness.
- Adjust the timings for baking the fruit depending upon how ripe it is. Very ripe fruit will likely need a little less time in the oven.
- cherries score 0 but have a not 'controversial'.
- arugula isn't rated on the list.
- black pepper scores 2.
- apple cider vinegar scores 1. White distilled vinegar scores 0. Leave out if you cannot tolerate vinegar.