This Spinach Salad with Capers Vinaigrette combines all the things I think are key in any salad: rocket and spinach because a good green touch is essential, crunchy croutons for that texture contrast, snow white mozzarella and red onions which add some bright notes to it all. And… a delicious punchy vinaigrette to dress it all up. This one with capers, parsley and garlic is soooo good, and what’s a salad without a good dressing?
It’s not summer here yet, but the weather has finally started to get warmer and it seems that the higher temperatures are here to stay. At home, salad season has began with salads making their way to the table almost in every single meal.
This salad is simple to toss together, extra colorful, super flavorful and unexpected thanks to the dressing. Be assured as well that people will be asking for extra croutons, so I always serve it with a side of croutons so people can add as many as they with.
Key Tips for Always Making a Great Salad
I always say that in order to make an incredible salad, one just needs to consider the next 4 things and combine them. If you do that, you’ll always succeed! What are these 4 key things then?
- Greens: you have to choose good greens. Vegetables are the core of a salad, so it’s very important that you go for good seasonal produce whenever possible. If you have greens that are about to go off avoid using them in a salad, you can use them for sauces like pestos, in soups or stews instead.
- Texture: texture contrast is very important in a salad. There should always be something with a bite. You can go for crunchy veggies that contrast with other softer ingredients, or add crunchy elements such as the croutons that I’ve added this time. Another resourceful alternative are nuts and seeds, they tend to be a great crunchy addition too (you can even considered caramelised ones, they are to die for!). In this salad the mozzarella balls are super pillowy compared with the croutons, so I think they pair great not only from a flavour perspective, but also from a texture one.
- Colours: colourful salads are always more appealing to a crowd than if people only see a green dish.
- Dressing: the dressing has to be remarkable. It can be simple, but it has to be memorable. For instance, are you going for a tomato salad? Then season it properly with salt and use a great extra virgin olive oil, that’s all you need. Are you going for a plain lettuce salad? Then choose a bright and punchy dressing.
How to Assemble this Spinach Salad with Capers Vinaigrette
Start with some quick homemade croutons. I love making mine with herbs and a good pinch of salt. I crisp them up in a little olive oil in a skillet. It’s very easy to do and they’re definitely worth the effort to make as opposed to using store-bought. I don’t add garlic by the way, as if necessary, I prefer to add it to the dressing, like with this Capers Vinaigrette.
The salad itself has plenty of fresh greens. I like using a mix of spinach and peppery rocket, which I place in a big salad bowl. I then top it with thinly sliced onions – I think slices look more beautiful than chopped onion, but I cut it thin so it does not overpower the rest of the ingredients when having a bite of the salad -, and mozzarella.
And it’s time for the dressing. This one is so Mediterranean! It has red wine vinegar, which is quite strong, but gets balanced with the parsley and the garlic. Plus delicious capers! I know that, for some, whole capers can be quite strong, but when crushed and mixed with the rest of the ingredients they leave such a nice hint in every bite. Don’t skip them, trust me. I blend all the dressing ingredients together, dress the salad and, finally, at the moment of serving, I top it with the croutons so they don’t get soggy.
This is truly one of those salads you’ll be excited to serve. It’s full of color, flavor, texture, homemade croutons… This salad will make your summer meals a real hit!
Looking for More Salads?
Here are a few of my go-to’s.
If you make this Spinach Salad with Capers Vinaigrette recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Spinach Salad with Capers Vinaigrette
- 100 g spinach
- 25 g rocket
- 1/2 red onion - thinly sliced
- 150 g bocconcini - drained weight. See notes
- 150 g croutons
- 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1,5 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 garlic clove
- 7-10 g fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and vinegar.
- Mix the greens, onion and mozzarella balls in a salad platter or big bowl.
- Add the dressing and toss to combine. Once the salad has been tossed, top with the croutons with more extra on the side. Serve immediately.
- The small mozzarella balls are called bocconcini. You can use a fresh mozzarella ball instead, chop it or tear it apart and mix.
- This dressing pairs really well with grilled white fish and chicken.