Recipe of the Week | Chipotle Honey-Vinaigrette Caprese Salad

Spicy Honey Vinaigrette Caprese Salad  | Photo Credit Randolph Graham

Here’s a fun and different recipe for those end-of-the-season fresh tomatoes in your garden. It is a spicy takeoff of the classic Italian Caprese Salad.

It includes fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Then I substitute avocado slices for the basil leaves and add a spicy vinaigrette with chipotle adobo sauce and a touch of honey. When I first described it to Robin she asked, “Why ruin a perfectly good Caprese salad?”  One taste and she understood perfectly why.

One word of caution. Well, more than one word. Purchase a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and only use the sauce (not the peppers) unless you like it super spicy! This recipe makes two salads. Recipe may be doubled to serve four or more.


3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¾ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce

1 garlic clove (minced)

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced ¼-inch thick) 

2 large ripe tomatoes (sliced ¼-inch thick) 

1 ripe avocado (peeled, pit removed and sliced lengthwise into wedges)

2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped for garnish)



Combine the first eight ingredients (through garlic) in a mini food processor and process until smooth. Set this dressing aside.

Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella in a circular design around the edge of a chilled salad plate. Overlay avocado slices in the center of the plate. Drizzle chipotle dressing over salad and garnish with cilantro.

Tip: Substitute agave nectar for the honey and this is a vegan recipe!

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Chef Randy’s latest book: Ojai Valley Quarantine Cookbook 

For additional recipes, see Chef Randy’s website at

Chef Randy has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He is known locally as the “Healthy Chef.” His column, Chef Randy, is syndicated in California newspapers. See his website at for more recipes.


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