Kinda Caprese Salad

The classic flavours of a Caprese salad get all adventurous in this recipe to add a bit of body and substance to what is usually a light lunch dish or starter.

Tall close up image of an unusual take on the flavours of a classic caprese salad.

Caprese Salad… Kinda!

Here I go again playing around with classical dishes which I am sure will horrify some.

Of course, a classic Caprese salad is a wonderful thing the creamy milky mozzarella cheese with sweet ripe tomatoes and almost metallic basil.

It is a match made in heaven.

I like to play with food and play with ideas. I rarely stray a million miles from where recipes originate and I don’t claim to make them better. The same would go for my Tuna Nicoise Pasta Salad or indeed my BLT pasta Salad.

Just different!

All I have done in this case is add a little spinach, balsamic and popcorn…

“Whoooahhhh, hold on” I hear you shout you added popcorn? My answer would be “yup”!

Tall image taken from above of an unusual take on the flavours of a classic caprese salad.

How to Cook the Popcorn.

Popcorn has a long association with a trip to the movies and I have played with an Indian variation on popcorn here on Krumpli.

And I go the idea of adding popcorn to a salad  after visiting one of many food festivals this summer.

A swanky restaurant had put together a rabbit rillettes and rolled it in popcorn.

It then served it alongside some more popcorn tossed with pomegranate molasses that replaced croutons in a salad.

It was a genius way of adding texture and a new flavour sensation.

Well, I think it works wonderfully in this Caprese salad!

Cooking the popcorn is ridiculously easy. You need a pan, some oil, in this case butter and a lid.

Then you melt the butter chuck in the popcorn and add a lid, a few minutes later you have popcorn!

Square image of an unusual take on the flavours of a classic caprese salad.

The Tomatoes.

Traditionally this recipe would have featured relatively thickly sliced ripe tomatoes.

I have gone with roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine and some deseeded plum tomatoes.

Any gardener will tell you that most of the aroma from a tomato comes from the plant rather than the fruit.

Aroma is such an important aspect of food, as a result, roasting the tomatoes on the vine adds a great sniff to the recipe.

Unfortunately, cherry tomatoes are not blessed with the most flavour but because these are roasted tomatoes we are adding flavour too!

Square image taken from above of an unusual take on the flavours of a classic caprese salad.
Kinda Caprese Salad

Kinda Caprese Salad

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Definitely, a twist on a classic to divide hearts and minds, but I love this twist on a Caprese salad that adds body, texture and structure to the classic flavours.


  • 200 g Cherry Tomatoes on the Vine
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 10 g Butter
  • 125 g Mini Mozzarella Cheese
  • 35 g Polenta
  • 1 Handful Spinach leaves
  • 36 Basil Leaves
  • 10 g Unpopped Corn
  • 75 g Tomato
  • 25 g Capers
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt, To taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C or 350°F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium high heat and when hot add in the cherry tomatoes and olive oil and transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the single tomato remove the seeds and slice into a 3.5mm dice and set aside.
  4. Take the butter and place in a small pan over a medium heat with a lid and when hot add the popcorn and pop.
  5. When popped, pick through and discard any un-popped pieces and set aside.
  6. Take a dry frying pan and add the polenta and toast it off you just want a nice nutty flavour and texture, this should take 2-3 minutes.
  7. Finely shred your basil leaves.
  8. When the tomatoes come out of the oven remove from the pan and set aside, do not throw away the cooking liquid we are going to use this.
  9. Dress your spinach leaves in olive oil and place them on the plate.
  10. Add the diced and roasted tomatoes.
  11. Sprinkle with the capers and basil.
  12. Roll the mozzarella balls in the toasted polenta and add to the plate.
  13. Finally dress the popcorn in the liquid from the roasted tomatoes and add to the plate before drizzling with a little of the left over liquid and serve. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 520 Total Fat: 40g Saturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 23g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 1089mg Carbohydrates: 27g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 18g Protein: 17g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

10 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. I love the idea of adding texture to a caprese, especially via popcorn — and as always, your photos are magnificent!

  2. For a moment you scared me, I though you were adding popcorn with pomegranate molasses. Love your idea of popcorn, polenta and spinach.


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