Orange and Mozzarella Salad with Basil

by Megan on February 21, 2010

Post image for Orange and Mozzarella Salad with Basil

We went to Reno last  Weekend to visit some good friends. It was Valentine’s weekend so I knew we would be making a nice dinner for the guys.  I wanted to make this salad but I was  hoping to use Blood Oranges with their beautiful deep red color.  But after visiting the grocery store, I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. So when I spotted the Cara Cara oranges next to the “other” navel oranges, I wasn’t too disappointed. You see, Cara Cara oranges is  what the original recipe called.

Orange and Mozzerella Salad

This is just like a Caprese Salad except it uses orange slices instead of tomatoes in the salad, and orange juice in the vinaigrette. It’s quick and simple to put together, and delicious with it’s fresh and bold flavors.

The original recipe made stacks with 3 orange slices, 3 fresh mozzarella medallions, and 3 basil leaves with the vinaigrette poured over the top. It made a beautiful presentation but this salad was serving four people and I wanted it more family style. I also served it on a bed of spinach. If you can’t find the Cara Cara oranges, your normal navel oranges will work just as well.

Here’s a little information on the Cara Cara Orange straight from the Sunkiss website.

Cara Cara Oranges

Cara Cara oranges, a type of navel grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley, are available January through April.  Their outward appearance is similar to other navels, but their interior is a distinctive pinkish red and has an exceptionally sweet flavor with a tangy cranberry-like zing.  Cara Caras are a rich source of Vitamins A and C, fiber and Lycopene.  A perfect snack served as wedges, they’re also a colorful addition to beverages or squeezed into a vinaigrette salad dressing.

I’m linking this Orange and Mozzarella Salad up to The Side Dish Showdown hosted by Reeni over at Cinnamon and Spice and Everything Nice. Check out all the other great recipes and lets give side dishes the respect  they deserve!

Orange Caprese Salad

Recipe adapted from Sunkist

  • 4 Cara Cara oranges
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 12 1/4 inch slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • fresh ground black pepper

Peel oranges and slice out three 1/4 inch horizontal slices from the center of each orange. Lightly sear the slices in a hot pan or on a grill.

Place spinach on a platter. Arrange in circular pattern starting with an orange slice. then a mozzarella slice and a finally a  basil leaf. Repeat until all the slices are arranged. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper and to taste.

To make Vinaigrette

Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • Combine orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl and whisk together.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Janet February 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Oh yum! I love trying new salads and this one sounds perfect! Looks delish!

2 Laurie February 21, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Oh my goodness Megan, I can totally imagine eating this right now! I love it!

3 Manggy February 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

Don’t tell anyone but I think I may prefer this to the usual tomatoes :) Shhh!

4 RJ Flamingo February 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

This salad sounds delightful and the vinaigrette? To die for! I’d put that on a straight-up spinach salad, too!

5 Elle February 22, 2010 at 9:22 am

So fresh and gorgeous! I’ve been enjoying Cara Cara oranges a lot lately, since I can’t find any blood oranges. Love this idea!

6 Barbara Bakes February 22, 2010 at 9:43 am

What a beautiful salad! I haven’t had a Cara Cara orange. I’ll have to look for them at the market.

7 Blond Duck February 22, 2010 at 10:37 am

That looks fascinating! I’ve never heard of oranges in a salad.

8 Maria February 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm

What a beautiful salad. LOVE It!

9 Jessica @ How Sweet February 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Ok, for someone who doesn’t like veggies, this salad makes my heart swell. You have me in mind, right? ;) Fruit + cheese = my mecca.

10 Ashley February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm

What a great idea! I recently bought a bag of cara cara oranges and loved them – but I ate them all plain and didn’t think to do something like this with them. Yum!

11 Krista February 23, 2010 at 6:56 am

What a cool twist on the traditional caprese salad. I’d love to give this a try. It’s pretty with the oranges too.

12 Kim February 23, 2010 at 8:41 am

This is an awesome twist on the original caprese (and better for me since I don’t like tomatoes)!! It looks beautiful Megan!

13 noble pig February 23, 2010 at 10:26 am

Oh that’s so pretty!! How beautiful it would be on a table!!

14 Megan February 23, 2010 at 11:04 am

What a neat idea! I thought it was a regular Caprese salad until I took a closer look.

Of course, I should have paid more attention to the title (duh!).

15 5 Star Foodie February 23, 2010 at 11:10 am

Gorgeous! I like the oranges in combination with mozzarella!

16 Sarah, Maison Cupcake February 23, 2010 at 11:53 am

Very pretty presentation – great spin on an old favourite!

17 Reeni February 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I love this Megan! A delicious little flavor twist with oranges. Thanks so much for sending it to the Showdown!

18 Debbie February 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I make a similar salad using pink grapefruit…love it! Thanks for sharing.

19 Kerstin February 23, 2010 at 8:01 pm

What a unique salad – it sounds so refreshing!

20 deeba February 23, 2010 at 8:28 pm

I love the salad and I love the vinegarette. Too. We don’t ge these oranges here, but I’m going to make the dressing soon!

21 stephchows February 24, 2010 at 9:24 am

mmm great work for the side dish show down!

22 almost Slowfood February 24, 2010 at 10:35 am

Love how this looks like a beautiful wreath. I’m sure it tasted wonderful.

23 Heavenly Housewife February 26, 2010 at 7:50 am

This is absolutely lovely, its a wonderful take on the caprese salad.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
*kisses* HH

24 Joanne March 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm

How perfect for winter when there are absolutely NO ripe tomatoes to be found and PLENTY of delicious citrus. Delicious.

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