Caprese Salad in Parmesan Bowls

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad in Parmesan Bowls is a tossed version of the classic tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, served up in a fun, edible Parmesan bowl. This salad made an appearance at the recent dinner party with my brother and sister-in-law, an event always worth a little extra fuss. Remember to Share, Comment or Subscribe if you like this post.

Worth the Fuss

I found this recipe for Caprese Salad in Parmesan Bowls in the fabulous Guide to Kowalski’s Specialty Cheese, which has a number of great recipes and entertaining ideas. The Parmesan shells require a little bit of fuss, but can be made in advance. I made my own balsamic vinaigrette in advance as well, which makes the last minute assembly for the salad quite simple. You can also hit the easy button and just buy a balsamic vinaigrette, if you prefer.

Entertaining Strategy

One of the strategies I embrace when entertaining, is to pick a few things to fuss with, and then make the rest of the menu simple. That way you don’t end up feeling stressed out and unable to enjoy time with your guests. An easy item could be something that’s simple to prepare, or something that you just purchase and serve.

For the dinner party, the Caprese Salad in Parmesan Bowls were followed by simple broiled steaks and Brussels sprouts with Blue Cheese Sauce. Then we finished with some easy-to-make chocolate ganache tarts. A purchased dessert would have been another good option. My Super Bowl Appetizers post is another great example of where I made a few things, and then rounded out the menu with purchased items. So remember, you don’t have to slave away in the kitchen to throw a great dinner party. Just create a game plan that provides a meal with a little wow, but still allows you to attend your own party!

Caprese Salad in Parmesan Bowls

Serving Size: 4 servings


    Parmesan Bowls
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh snipped chives
    Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 -2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mixed baby greens
  • 24 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed (I used small mozzarella balls I found in the deli)
  • 1/2 oz. fresh basil cut into long thin ribbons (aka chiffonade)


    Parmesan Bowls
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine Parmesan and chives. Heat a 10" nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese mixture in a circle into a skillet, keeping edges lacey. When cheese is golden brown around the edges, remove the skillet from the heat; with a narrow metal spatula, loosen cheese around edge working into the center (FYI - I found when loosening, it's hard to keep the lacey edges, but they still turned out fine.) Place a 3 inch glass in the center of the cheese circle, invert pan and glass onto counter, lifting off skillet. Quickly drape cheese circle over glass, pressing to form a bowl; cool completely. Repeat with remaining Parmesan to make 3 more bowls. You can make these bowls a few hours in advance. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature, until you are ready to assemble the salad.
    Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Combine all ingredients into a small jar with tight fitting lid, or salad dressing shaker, and shake to combine. You can prepare the dressing up to a week in advance and store in refrigerate, but let it stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour prior to using.
  • In large bowl combine salad ingredients, toss to coat with desired amount of dressing and serve in Parmesan bowls.


Adapted from A Guide to Kowalski's Specialty Cheese recipe



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