Healthy Italian Salads

While Dave is in Italy with a client, we’re running his blog from DJF HQ. He’s been making us very hungry by posting the images below to facebook.

But they’ve inspired us, and we thought we’d take a break from DJF Kitchen’s usual Wednesday focus on the top nutrition tips, and instead focus on some healthy Italian food. Because it’s the perfect way to reward yourself after a tough session in the gym, and if you’re avoiding the greasy pizza and pasta, it’s all good for avoiding the body fat. So while Dave is in Tuscany eating pan forte and gelato, we’ll be throwing together a few of these salads – they’re healthy, perfect for summer, and delicious.

And we thought we’d put the shout out – we know this could cause a lot of arguments – what’s your favorite Italian dish?

Insalata Caprese



  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • fine sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • On a large platter, alternate and overlap the tomato slices, mozzarella cheese slices, and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Roasted Peppers



  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 leaves fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate. Reduce grill heat to medium.
  • Grill whole peppers until charred on all sides, turning about every 5 minutes. Place charred peppers in a plastic food storage bag and tie shut. Allow peppers to cool in bag.
  • Combine olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper in a 1-pint glass jar (or larger, depending on size of peppers).
  • Remove cooled peppers from bag and scrape off charred skins. Cut peppers in half and remove seeds and stems. Slice peppers into long strips and place in oil mixture. Mix well, assuring peppers are covered in oil. Serve, storing leftover peppers in refrigerator for up to 5 days.