This recipe for bacon caprese salad is layers of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, bacon, avocado and basil leaves, all drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette. The perfect summer main course or side dish!
This post is sponsored by Smithfield. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Dinner at the Zoo possible!
Every spring I plant a variety of tomato plants in my garden in hopes of getting a bounty of fresh tomatoes during the summer. Sometimes I get lucky and get a nice crop, other times my kids pluck all of the tomatoes off the plants before I can get to them! My favorite way to showcase tomatoes is a caprese salad and I’ve been on a mission to create my perfect version of the classic recipe. This bacon caprese salad wins top honors in my book. It’s the traditional salad with the addition of slices of bacon and avocado, all drizzled with a bright and flavorful lemon dressing. Salad perfection? I think so.
The first component of this dish is the tomatoes – get the best tomatoes you can. If you don’t grow your own, stop by your local farmer’s market to pick some up. The tomatoes are layered with fresh mozzarella cheese, avocado, whole basil leaves and slices of bacon. The bacon really adds so much to this dish – the flavor marries so well with the tomatoes (think BLT), and the bacon also adds a heartiness that makes this salad fit for a main meal as well as a side dish. I use Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon in this recipe. I always have a package of Smithfield bacon in my fridge, in fact, my daughter requests it all the time! Smithfield bacon comes in a wide variety of flavors and cuts and is available at grocery stores nationwide.
I layer all of my caprese salad ingredients onto a bed of arugula and drizzle a quick and easy lemon vinaigrette over the top of everything. I know that balsamic vinegar is the typical topping to a caprese salad, but I feel that sometimes the balsamic can be overpowering, so I went with a lighter choice. You can serve this salad family style on a tray or in individual portions.
Caprese salad is good, but bacon caprese salad is even better. This is a dish that will be on my table all summer long, it’s perfect for barbecues and picnics, or even when you just want a fast and easy dinner. For more great recipes and meal inspiration ideas, be sure to check out the Smithfield website or the Smithfield Facebook page.
Bacon Caprese Salad
- 6 large ripe tomatoes cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 16 leaves basil
- 8 slices of cooked Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon cooked and cut in half crosswise
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
- 4 cups of arugula leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the arugula onto a platter. Place rows of tomato slices on the platter. Tuck slices of cheese, bacon, avocado and basil leaves in between the tomato slices.
- In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil; season generously with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the tomato mixture and serve immediately.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield.