You’ll commonly see caprese being served with a light Italian white like Pinot Grigio because it’s easy and it works, but a juicy Lambrusco is a whole lot more interesting. A frizzante, fruity, and fun Italian red, Lambrusco is particularly refreshing when served chilled in the summer – which is the ultimate season for caprese salads.
Perfectly in season tomatoes, a big ball of burrata, aged balsamic, and aromatic basil on a slice of toasted Italian loaf…$&*% yeah. I took the classic caprese salad and leveled up by using burrata. I also took the liberty of putting it on top of some fresh made Italian bread – because we’re all happier with more carbs in our life.
Depending on how many people you’re serving and where you are in life – you may or may not want to eat an entire ball of burrata in one serving. You can also mix up the presentation by slicing the burrata (be careful not to let the stracciatella inside to spill out!) and layer it between the tomatoes and basil.
And as for the wine pairing – food-friendly Lambrusco. The juicy fruitiness compliments the juiciness of the tomatoes in a caprese salad, and the body of a red as opposed to a white is great for the richness of the burrata. I snagged this highly rated Lini 910 from Bond Street Wines here in Charlotte, NC – they’re selling it at an amazing price if you live in the area (so go grab a bottle!).
Keep in mind – just because Lambrusco is a red wine doesn’t mean it needs to still be served at the typical 60-68°F. Instead, try chilling this wine for about an hour or two in the fridge before serving. If you’re in a pinch, toss it (not literally) in the freezer for 15 minutes. A chill on a fruit-forward wine like Lambrusco does wonders for the flavor of the wine.
An in-season caprese salad and a chilled red is exactly what you need to for a refreshing summer pairing.
Classic caprese with an upgrade.
- 1 ball burrata ((mozzarella or mozz di bufala work as well))
- 6 leaves fresh basil
- 1 whole tomato from the vine
- 1 slice fresh-made Italian bread
- 2 tsp aged balsamic
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Brush some olive oil on a slice of fresh Italian bread and toast to desired darkness.
- While the bread is toasting, thinly slice a tomato into 2-3 slices per piece of toast.
- Layer fresh basil and then tomato slices onto bread. Top with a ball of burrata. If you want to divide a ball of burrata between multiple people, slice the ball into medallions and layer between the tomatoes.
- Drizzle on aged balsamic and a light amount of extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
You can serve a ball of burrata anywhere from 1-4 people depending on your preference. For aesthetic (and cheese-loving) reasons, one whole ball per person is my recommendation. You only live once.
Veganize it: Wanna ditch the dairy? Because of the mild flavor of cheese like burrata (and mozzarella, etc.), avocado can be a great creamy alternative for a caprese salad. Slice an avocado and layer it between the tomato slices to make this appetizer plant-based!
Keywords: burrata, caprese, basil, balsamic, tomato, summer, italian, lambrusco, vegetarian wine pairing, red wine