Portable Cherry Caprese Panzanella Salad

A portable summer salad perfect for the beach or a picnic featuring cherries, tomatoes, basil, mint, fresh mozzarella and bread - recipe for Cherry Caprese Panzanella at Teaspoonofspice.com

UPDATE: This post was written many years ago – pre-COVID- but hopefully you can still enjoy during a socially distancing picnic or trip to the beach!

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PICNIC WEEK on Teaspoon of Spice continues! (Check out Serena’s post on Packing the Perfect Picnicher Pickled Radishes and her even easier 1-Step Pickle Recipe from earlier in the week.)

Today, I’m talking beach eats beyond the squished PB&Js in the recycled sandwich bag (at least that’s how it was done when I was growing up in the 70s.)

Come summer, I’m doing some type of insalata caprese (tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella) combo several times a week. Anything from caprese salads, to caprese sammies, to caprese pasta to Grilled Potato Zucchini Caprese Salad.

But when going to the beach, it’s usually nothing fancy – often that peanut butter sandwich, fresh fruit and a few KIND bars.

So, I figured I’d give this salad in a jar thing and try and see how it held up to the hazards of the beach: sun, sand and seagulls.

Portable summer salad: Cherry Caprese Panzanella via @tspbasil Click To Tweet

Along with caprese salad, I’m a big fan of any type of panzanella or bread and tomato salad (like Serena’s Roasted Broccoli Panzanella Salad.) The key to a great bread salad is one that isn’t too dry or too soggy. I solved this by mixing up all the ingredients except the bread and putting in the fridge. Right before heading to the beach, I layered individual Mason jars like this: On the bottom went the toasted bread and the rest of the salad went on top. The whole jar went in a cooler with our drinks.

When it’s lunch time, you simply shake until the bread is combined with the rest of the salad. Eating out straight from the jar protects you from the sand and a potential seagull attack. Just don’t forget the forks!

I added cherries and mint with the usual tomato, basil and mozzarella. So good!

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Portable Cherry Caprese Panzanella Salad

A portable summer salad perfect for the beach or a picnic featuring cherries, tomatoes, basil, mint, fresh mozzarella and bread - recipe for Cherry Caprese Panzanella at Teaspoonofspice.com

A portable summer salad perfect for the beach or a picnic featuring cherries, tomatoes, basil, mint, fresh mozzarella and bread.

  • Yield: 1 serving. 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1.5 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 6 leaves of fresh mint or basil (or a combination), torn
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Dash of salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup cubed stale whole wheat crusty bread

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix onion and lemon juice. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Add cherries, tomatoes, mozzarella, mint/basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper; mix well. Refrigerate until ready to put into Mason jar.
  3. Before leaving for outdoor eating event, layer bread in bottom of Mason jar. Top with cherry/tomato mix and place in cooler. Before eating, toss vigorously until well blended.

Talk about summer in a jar – I’m not kidding when I say this was my lunch for 3 days straight.

A portable summer salad perfect for the beach or a picnic featuring cherries, tomatoes, basil, mint, fresh mozzarella and bread - recipe for Cherry Caprese Panzanella at Teaspoonofspice.com

What do you bring to the beach for eats? Ever make salad in a jar – please share! We love hearing your ideas.

A portable summer salad perfect for the beach or a picnic featuring cherries, tomatoes, basil, mint, fresh mozzarella and bread - recipe for Cherry Caprese Panzanella at Teaspoonofspice.com

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