Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Caprese Salad, a cheese-free version

T’was hard to select a star player of a meal when two of the three dishes really stood out. I’ll give my vote to this one, tho, because it clearly can stand on its own — the flavors, the textures and the adventure of eating it. A couple of days later, I served it “vegan style” as an appetizer (an antipasto) for a luncheon with 14 women.

Here is a cheese-free version of a Caprese Salad


  • 3 thin slices fennel (bulb only), marinate in lemon juice
  • 1 slice apple (or pear), marinate in lemon juice
  • 1 thick slice tomato, marinate in olive oil and black pepper
  • 2 tbls mashed potato or mashed cauliflower (made with a touch of coconut milk and salt)
  • Basil Butter
  • Diced yellow bell pepper


    Layer each item starting with the fennel (sorry, you can’t see this in the image above), then the tomato, a spoonful of potatoes, the ‘butter’ and bell peppers.

Click the photo below to see a RAW vegan Caprese Salad

TIPS for a Vegan Caprese Salad:

• Use coconut oil mixed with an equal portion of olive oil instead of the butter when making the Basil Butter.

• Or – blend 1/2 cup of mashed roasted cauliflower with 1 bunch basil.

TIPS for a RAW Vegan Caprese Salad:

• Use pine nuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts, and olive oil (instead of the butter when making the Basil Butter).

• Or – blend cauliflower with 1 bunch basil, and with olive oil, and/or another oil and/or a few nuts.

TIP: blending oil with the cauliflower will help tone down its strong flavor b/c the oil is protecting it from oxygen.

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