Spinach Caprese Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

Spinach Caprese Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

This spinach caprese salad with cherry vinaigrette is one of those salads that you’ll want to eat all summer long. Think of it when the tomatoes are bursting, the basil is overgrowing its pot, and the trees are weighed down with so many cherries that even the birds can’t eat them all.

We’ve had caprese on repeat in our household ever since kiddo made caprese skewers from her Test Kitchen Kids cookbook. Cherry tomatoes + ciliegine mozzarella + basil = yum.

With the spinach, this salad is a bit more substantial as a side dish, and the addition of the cherry vinaigrette gives it a fruity, garlicky punch to balance out the spinach.

cherries in a saucepan
cooked cherries in a saucepan

FAQs about this spinach caprese salad and cherry vinaigrette

Can I use frozen cherries in the cherry vinaigrette?

Absolutely. They’ll be a little more watery, so just cook them down until the liquid has thickened.

How long can I store the vinaigrette?

The vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

What else would be good with the cherry vinaigrette?

How about a kale salad with toasted pecans. Or maybe a harvest grain bowl?

Have you ever made fresh mozzarella?

No, but I’ve been looking at recipes tonight, and I’m thinking I need to buy some citric acid and rennet so I can try. Will report back, I promise.

a strainer in the sink with a cherry pitter and a bunch of cherry pits and stems

Spinach caprese salad with cherry vinaigrette

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author uglyducklingbakery


  • Food processor or blender


Cherry vinaigrette

  • 8 oz (~1 1/2 cups) sweet cherries (n=~25-30)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped or chopped with the food processor
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Spinach caprese salad

  • 5 oz (1 package) fresh baby spinach
  • 2 slicer tomatoes, sliced ~1/4" thick
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese (ovolini or other large ball), sliced ~1/4" thick.
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped


Cherry vinaigrette

  • Remove the stems and pit the cherries and then place them in a small saucepan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Heat the cherries on low until they have burst and the liquid has thickened so that a spatula drawn across the bottom leaves a trail that lasts for a few seconds. Remove from heat and let cool briefly.
  • If using a food processor, add the garlic first and process until minced.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the olive oil and process until smooth.
  • Add the olive oil (If using a food processor, add the olive oil through the chute with the processor going) and emulsify.

Spinach caprese salad

  • Add the spinach in an even layer in a large bowl or serving dish.
  • Overlap alternating tomato and mozzarella slices on the spinach and sprinkle with chopped basil.
  • Serve with the cherry vinaigrette or just drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt.

What next?

If you make this spinach caprese salad and/or the cherry vinaigrette, please comment and/or share a pic!

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a jar of cherry vinaigrette and some sweet cherries on table

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