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BBQ asparagus caprese salad

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  • Vegetarian
  • Soy free
  • Sesame free
  • No added sugar
  • Wheat free
  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Peanut free

Drizzled in a homemade rocket pesto, this mouth-watering caprese salad is guaranteed to your new go-to side dish.

  • Serves6, as a side
  • Cook time5 minutes
  • Prep time10 minutes
BBQ asparagus served on a big plate with cherry tomatoes and cheese on top


  • 350g mixed medley tomatoes, halved
  • 200g cherry bocconcini, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • Basil leaves, to serve

Rocket pesto

  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 60g pkt Coles Australian Baby Rocket
  • 1/4 cup (25g) finely grated pecorino or parmesan
  • 1/4 cup (40g) pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil

Nutritional information

Per serve: Energy: 1238kJ/296 Cals (14%), Protein: 12g (24%), Fat: 25g (36%), Sat fat: 7g (29%), Carb: 4g (1%), Sugar: 4g (4%), Fibre: 5g (17%), Sodium: 219mg (11%).

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    To make the rocket pesto, place the basil, rocket, pecorino or parmesan, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a thin, steady stream until well combined. Season.
  2. Step 2

    Combine the tomato, bocconcini and onion in a medium bowl. Add 2 tbs of the rocket pesto and gently toss to combine. Season.
  3. Step 3

    Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill on high. Spray the asparagus with olive oil spray and season. Cook on the grill, turning occasionally, for 2-3 mins or until the asparagus is just tender and cooked through.
  4. Step 4

    Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter. Spoon over the tomato mixture. Drizzle with the remaining rocket pesto and sprinkle with basil leaves to serve.

Asparagus caprese salad recipe

Perhaps one of the most beloved salads across the globe, traditional caprese salad is also one of the simplest salad recipes to remember; buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and olive oil. The dish, also known as insalata caprese, is believed to have originated on the Italian island of Capri, from which it gets its name. According to folklore, it was first crafted by a stone maker sometime after World War I as a patriotic tribute to the country, with the hues of the ingredients strategically chosen to represent the nation’s tricolour flag.

For such a simple dish, what defines an authentic caprese salad has been the cause of much debate. Should you add balsamic vinegar? Does it matter which size and variety of mozzarella you use? Can you cook the tomatoes first? These are all questions that have led to lengthy discussions and exciting experiments. Caprese salad recipes will all vary, but when it comes to cooking in your own home, all that really matters is personal preference. If this recipe for caprese salad is anything to go by, the options are endless.

Dressing your caprese salad

A good olive oil might be all you need to perfect the caprese salad dressing, but there are a number of different sauces and toppings that can shake up your salad – the rocket pesto in this recipe is just the beginning. One of the most common additions to the Italian staple is balsamic reduction (also known as balsamic glaze). The popular condiment adds a sweet and tangy layer to the caprese salad’s flavour profile, and steps up the presentation game. For those with a sweet-tooth, try mixing honey and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and reducing the mixture. The honey-balsamic reduction is a tasty twist on the original recipe. Another classic Italian condiment that pairs well with the caprese salad is gremolata – it’s a green sauce made with chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic. It’s an especially impressive inclusion if you’re planning to serve the salad beside red meat.

Fresh takes on caprese salad

As one of the most beloved salads in the world, the traditional caprese salad is always a safe inclusion to the dinner menu – but it isn’t exactly the most creative. As a result, home cooks, chefs and foodies have begun to get experimental with the original recipe with new inclusions and unique presentation. Using baby mozzarella and cherry tomatoes (and chopped barbecued asparagus as per this recipe), caprese salad skewers are a fun way to serve the popular dish and make for easy cocktail-style dining. For a Californian spin, try an avocado caprese salad. If you’re looking to embrace the summer feeling, slice and grill some peach to add an extra layer. There are also a few easy ways to fill out the classic caprese salad to transform it into the perfect workday lunch – try mixing the ingredients with cooked (and cooled) pasta or with zucchini noodles.

Now get cooking

With the addition of barbecued asparagus and home-made rocket pesto, this might be the best caprese salad  you’ve tried to date. Serve it with Italian-style sausage pasta for a Mediterranean inspired feast. Looking for more of the best salad recipes? The perfect salad is hard to beat, while Luke Managan’s grilled vegetable pasta salad with olives is another fan favourite.


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