Organic, Real Food on a Budget – Caprese Salad with Basil Pesto

Plants don’t really grow for me. I’m not a great gardener. I wish I was. Moving around every couple of years doesn’t help because once I finally figure out what grows in that specific region, we pick up and move. One thing I do grow, despite my black thumb, is herbs. I have a few pots and each year in early summer I plant basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, mint, and cilantro. Each little plant costs about $2 (the same price I’d pay in the store for a few sprigs) and I have herbs for about six months out of the year. If you use herbs often in your cooking, growing your own can save you quite a bit of money at the grocery store.

One of my favorite things to make with fresh herbs is pesto. Basil is the most popular, but I like to change it up with chard, kale, olives, broccoli, and sun-dried tomatoes. I like to get creative for summer picnics by bringing “salad in a jar.” Pair this light, flavorful salad with some fruit, cured meat, and something bubbly and you’ve got a recipe for an enjoyable time with nature, even if you can’t grow your own garden.

For some gardening help, check out this excellent post:

How to Grow Your Own Indoor Culinary Herb Garden by Gourmande in the Kitchen

Caprese Salad with Basil Pesto

Serving Size: Serves 4

Caprese Salad with Basil Pesto

You can also make this salad in a large bowl instead of individual jars.


    For the Pesto:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For Salad:

  • 8 ounces penne pasta (whole wheat or rice pasta), cooked, drained and cooled

  • 16 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, cubed

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Place the basil, walnut, cheese, garlic and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. With processor on, slowly add olive oil. Adjust salt to taste.

Divide pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella and olive oil into 4 bowls or jars. Divide pesto evenly among jars. Shake or toss salad before serving.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your costs will be the same but Deliciously Organic will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support!


Like It? Share it!

Did you enjoy this post?

Sign up for FREE updates!

Receive my "Top 7 Tips to Reduce Inflammation" when you subscribe!



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *