‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Caprese Salad Recipe Is a Perfect Summer Appetizer or Side Dish

Ree Drummond is a fan of simplicity when it comes to cooking and her no-fuss Caprese salad illustrates that perfectly. The secret, she said, is in the balsamic glaze she makes. The end result is beautiful, fresh, delicious — and impressive!

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond wears a long sleeve pink blouse
Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond said she loves Caprese salad ‘so much it actually hurts’

Drummond wrote about her Caprese salad recipe in a 2022 blog post on The Pioneer Woman website.

Drummond’s recipe introduction explained her love for the basic side salad. “Just about my favorite thing on earth. Thick slices of tomato and mozzarella, flavored with fresh basil leaves, olive oil, and a beautiful balsamic reduction. Simple, but oh so impressive.”

“I love caprese salad so much it actually hurts,” she wrote. “I love it as a main dish salad, I love it as a side dish with beef, I love it as an appetizer before a meal, I love it as a mid-afternoon snack.”

Drummond continued, “Caprese is truly a magical and perfect combination of flavors, textures, and freshness: ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, and some kind of drizzle of either olive oil or balsamic … or both.”

She added, “For this Caprese, I used a simple balsamic reduction, which results in a pretty presentation and gorgeous flavor. Serve a platter of Caprese salad as a 4th of July appetizer! I usually do, and it’s always a welcome treat amidst all the burgers and hot dogs and ribs and celebration and fun. And it’s … well, it’s Caprese.

How to make Ree Drummond’s Caprese salad recipe

Drummond demonstrated how to make her easy Caprese salad during an episode of The Pioneer Woman. The Food Network host included the simple side dish as a lighter choice among the many items featured on her Fourth of July celebration menu.

“To go with all the steaks and baked beans and wonderful sides, I’m making a really delicious, really light tomato mozzarella salad,” she explained.

Drummond used big leaves of basil and layered the ingredients on a platter. “The secret to my tomato mozzarella salad? This balsamic reduction,” she shared. “The balsamic glaze is just balsamic vinegar brought to a boil then simmered until it becomes a thick glaze. How yummy is that?”

She drizzled the balsamic glaze over the salad. “And it just gives the salad this really dramatic glaze, so beautiful,” the Food Network host said. Drummond drizzled olive oil over the top and added a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

Ree Drummond’s mozzarella and basil salad earns rave reviews

Drummond’s Caprese salad is a winner, based on the reviews the recipe received on the Food Network site.

Comments included, “Great taste and wonderfully refreshing” and “Simply delicious!”

Another happy reviewer shared, “We make Caprese salad all the time, but this was by far the best one we’ve made. The balsamic reduction is a game-changer. It made the vinegar a bit sweeter and less tart. It was so good. Also, using a creamier mozzarella (not the hard, dry kind) adds to the beauty of this dish. This is my new Caprese go-to recipe. Thank you!”

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