DONNA'S DAY: Try family twist on traditional Caprese salad

Kids can help make a family-friendly version of the Caprese salad.

When it's time to prep a dinner meal this week, get your kids stacking the green, white and red layers of fresh basil, mozzarella and tomato. If they say their culinary creation reminds them of winter's Christmas colors, guide them to a photo of the tricolor green, white and red Italian flag.

This fun-to-make version using a surprise ingredient, couscous, is a tasty spring and summertime twist on Italy's traditional Caprese salad. I've always believed in using the right tools for the right job. In this recipe, it's four recycled aluminum cans.

Once you've removed labels and both ends of four 7-8 ounce clean cans (I used 7-ounce diced green chilies cans and made sure there were no sharp edges), gather the following ingredients to create a fancy-looking presentation.


4 aluminum 7-8 ounce cans with both ends removed

Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil

2 medium, ripe tomatoes, 1/4-inch-thick slices

1 cup cooked couscous mixed with 2 tablespoons Italian dressing or prepared pesto

8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil leaves

Parsley for garnish (optional)

Balsamic vinegar

1. Spray with nonstick spray or lightly wipe oil in the interior of the four cans. Set each can on end on a salad plate.

2. Trim the tomato and cheese slices to fit the interior of a can, then stack the individual portions in layers inside the can as follows: a tomato slice, 2 tablespoons of couscous mixture and a cheese slice. Repeat.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and press down on the stack gently with a jar or can slightly smaller than the opening of the can.

4. Remove wrap and slowly lift the can to reveal the layered salad. To serve, garnish with a fresh basil leaf or sprig of parsley. Drizzle balsamic vinegar to taste.

Find more recipes and family fun at Write to Donna at Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. © 2021 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.