Heirloom Tomato and Steak Caprese

updated Jun 24, 2020
Heirloom Tomato and Steak Caprese

Inspired by traditional caprese, this dinner salad is topped with marinaded grilled steak and a punchy basil vinaigrette.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook8 minutes to 12 minutes

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heirloom tomato and steak caprese
Credit: Matt Armendariz

Whenever tomato season hits, it’s my time to shine. I buy ALL the heirloom tomatoes, then once I get them home I figure out different ways to use them. A simple caprese salad with mozzarella and basil is my usual choice, but my husband doesn’t quite consider that dinner. Add some steak, though, and you’ve got yourself a meal! It’s time to eat steak caprese, all summer long.

Plan Ahead for Maximum Flavor

While this summertime dinner salad doesn’t take a whole lot of hands-on time or effort to pull together, you’ll want to plan ahead so you can give the steak as well as the tomatoes and red onion plenty of time to marinate. Not only will the punchy basil vinaigrette give dinner a big boost of herby flavor, but it will also tame the bite of the onions.

Heirloom Tomato and Steak Caprese

Inspired by traditional caprese, this dinner salad is topped with marinaded grilled steak and a punchy basil vinaigrette.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 8 minutes to 12 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


For the basil vinaigrette (makes about 1 cup):

  • 1

    medium shallot, roughly chopped

  • 2 cups

    tightly packed fresh basil leaves (stems removed)

  • 1 clove


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 cup

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

For the caprese:

  • 1/4 cup

    olive oil

  • 1/4 cup

    red wine vinegar

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1 pound

    hanger or skirt steak

  • 2 pounds

    heirloom tomatoes, both regular and cherry, halved and quartered

  • 1/4

    medium red onion, thinly sliced

  • 6 ounces

    fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into bite-size pieces

  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Make the basil vinaigrette: In a high-powered blender, combine the shallot, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt. Blend for 1 minute, or until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  2. Make the caprese: In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, thyme, and oregano and stir. Remove half of the marinade to another bowl. Add the steak to one bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Meanwhile add the tomatoes and red onion to the other bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.

  3. When you’re ready to cook, heat a grill over medium-high heat. Shake excess marinade off the meat and generously season it with salt and pepper. Place the steak on the grill and cook until medium or medium rare, 4 to 6 minutes on each side, depending on your preference. Remove the meat to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

  4. Transfer the tomatoes and red onion with all the marinade to a serving platter and nestle in the torn cheese. Slice the steak across the grain and nestle the slices into the tomato salad. Drizzle with the basil vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from What’s Gaby Cooking: Eat What You Want: 125 Recipes for Real Life by Gaby Dalkin; Abrams Books, 2020.