Citrus Caprese Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

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citrus, mozarella and basil salad with honey vinaigrette

Citrus Caprese Salad with Honey Vinaigrette ~ this is my winter riff on the classic caprese salad, with bright juicy citrus fruit standing in for the tomatoes.

healthy and light citrus caprese salad

Everybody’s mad for caprese salad, and it’s such a painful moment when you realize that you’ve had your last one of the summer.  It’s a shame, too, because you can still get perfectly fresh basil all through the winter, and of course fresh mozzarella is everywhere now, so the only thing standing between you and your favorite salad are those luscious juicy tomatoes.  But guess what we do have available to us right now in mid-winter?  Luscious citrus!  And citrus and tomato have a lot in common, too, they both have that great acidic juiciness, and tomatoes are technically a fruit, so I really am making sense here…stay with me… I think thick slices of grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, etc. make an obvious stand in for tomatoes in a classic caprese salad.

citrus, mozarella and basil salad with honey vinaigrette

This is seasonal eating at its best.  Gather whatever citrus you can find in your local market.  In California we have all sorts…I’ve got pink grapefruit, a white grapefruit from my backyard tree, navel, Cara Cara (pink,) and blood oranges, and mandarins in my salad.  You don’t have to use a variety, you could do this with all blood oranges, or if you can find giant pomelos, use them!   Regular navel oranges will be great if that’s all you can find.

slicing citrus for citrus salad

I slice each piece of fruit pretty thickly, about 1/2 an inch.  Then I cut away the rind with a small serrated knife or kitchen shears, making SURE to remove any stray seeds.  Biting down on a bitter citrus seed is not pleasant.

slicing cara cara oranges for citrus caprese salad

Then you can stack them with fresh mozzarella and basil on individual plates or in one big bowl, like I did.  It makes a beautiful presentation.  I like to leave the basil leaves whole, I think they look better, and this way they don’t bruise from being cut, or wilt as fast.  I sliced up a big ball of fresh mozzarella but you can also use the little balls if you like them better.

a bowl of citrus caprese salad

I made a honey and white balsamic vinaigrette to drizzle over it all, and I must say it makes quite a sunny lunch for a dreary January afternoon.

citrus caprese salad is the perfect winter variation of a summer classic!

This is do delightful you might just find yourself searching for fresh citrus fruit in August for your caprese salads!

Citrus Caprese Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

Juicy citrus stand in for tomatoes in this twist on a classic caprese salad!

Citrus Caprese Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
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Yield: serves 4

citrus, mozarella and basil salad with honey vinaigrette


  • assorted citrus fruits...allow one piece of fruit per person, at least
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 1 8-oz ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
    honey vinaigrette
  • 3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch salt


  1. Slice the citrus fruit thickly, about 1/2 inch. Remove the peel with a small serrated knife or kitchen shears. Remove any seeds.
  2. Layer the fruit on individual plates or in a serving bowl or platter, alternating with the sliced cheese and basil leaves.
  3. Sprinkle everything with some salt and pepper, then drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.
  4. To make the dressing just shake or whisk the ingredients together. Taste to adjust.



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  • Reply
    7 Simple Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
    January 30, 2019 at 9:06 am

    […] your body the vitamins and antioxidants that you might have been missing. Check out this delicious citrus caprese salad with honey vinaigrette from A View from Great […]

  • Reply
    January 14, 2018 at 9:50 am

    My local market doesn’t carry basil in the winter. What other fresh herb would you recommend?

    • Reply
      January 14, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Hmmmm, basil is so unique in a caprese salad…I would probably just use lots of good fresh parsley, Shannon. And how is it that your store doesn’t have fresh basil? I’m amazed, I thought it was available everywhere year round these days!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    This salad is utterly beautiful, and what a clever alternative to the traditional caprese salad. I never would have thought of it, but I’m totally loving the idea.

    I’d love you share this salad at the 28 days of salads project over on my blog

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 7:33 pm


  • Reply
    January 30, 2015 at 5:57 am

    I made this the night after it was published here. My husband and I love caprese salads and, both battling colds, I figured the extra dose of Vitamin C would be good for us. it was DELICIOUS. frankly it almost made us forget what we liked about tomato caprese salads – it was so good. I will say that we had some aged balsamic vinegar, really good thick sweet stuff, and we just drizzled that over w/ a little drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. I didn’t make the honey dressing b/c i thought our vinegar was sweet enough. I highly recommend this, HIGHLY! :)

    • Reply
      January 30, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Thanks Lindsay, I can imagine this would be a great salad to help fight a cold. I love your idea of using really thick balsamic vinegar…my mouth is watering now :)

  • Reply
    January 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Just about the most gorgeous salad I’ve ever seen! And delicious, too!

    • Reply
      January 22, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks Liz, the colors were sure pretty.

  • Reply
    Sarah (thyme)
    January 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    What a wonderful bright salad for winter…I have several friends coming to New Hampshire to visit so I’m adding that into my queue…

    • Reply
      January 22, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks Sarah — I am so envious of your new life in New Hampshire :)

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 22, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    You are speaking my language with this salad! So fresh and vibrant, and I love the honey vinaigrette!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    January 22, 2015 at 11:13 am

    That’s one lovely looking salad!

  • Reply
    Linda@There and Back Again
    January 22, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Oh, I HAVE to try this one! Great idea!

    • Reply
      January 22, 2015 at 9:08 am

      thanks Linda, I’m really happy with how it turned out!

  • Reply
    Jen @ Baked by an Introvert
    January 22, 2015 at 8:06 am

    This one gorgeous salad! It’s so bright and vibrant. Love!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Quite a sunny salad! Beautiful and fun and most of all fresh-in more ways than one!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2015 at 6:30 am

    oh, what stunning colors! i’ve gotten accustomed to getting weird looks when i crack pepper on something fruity, but i love the combo. :)

    • Reply
      January 22, 2015 at 7:35 am

      I never thought about it until now…I’m a pepper fiend!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2015 at 6:27 am

    One word.Gorgeous.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2015 at 4:01 am

    This looks so delicious, bright and vibrant! The best recipe I’ve seen all day, and I’m so excited to make it now.

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