I love appetizers! Any shape, any kind… the very fact that I can try a bunch of different flavors in a single meal is always exciting as apposed to picking out an entree and then having to stick with it! My perfect meal would be a glass of wine, 3 different appetizers, a salad (maybe), and then dessert. Couple this with fabulous company and you have yourself an evening to remember! So on that note, be forewarned, that the next few posts from me are going to be appetizer posts. Big smiley!
I’ve been pouring through different recipes as we plan a party, and something that struck me right off the bat was a caprese. Light and easy to assemble… and ohh so yummy! I saw a bunch of recipes, but most of them had the caprese on a skewer with marinated mozzarella. Being the control freak that I am, I wanted to control the marinade, and at the same time not be stuck with an entire skewer when I was eating it. So I thought, why not use a toothpick instead which would be bite sized and make my own simple dressing? And voila! With the right cherry tomatoes, and a balsamic vinegar dressing, the caprese on a stick was an absolute delight.
A couple of notes. Pick up the cherry/grape tomatoes from a specialty store or Whole foods. My corner store didn’t have the nice, juicy, sweet cherry tomatoes to go with this salad. And believe me when I say, the cherry tomatoes make or break this salad. Also, look for smaller sized tomatoes as these have to fit on a toothpick along with a piece of mozzarella.
Caprese on a stick
Makes: 40 pieces
Ready in: 15 minutes
- 1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes
- 1 bunch basil leaves (need a leaf for every piece)
- 8 oz tub of bocconcini (aka mozzarella in brine/water)
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- toothpicks to assemble the caprese
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes. Pierce the tomatoes with the toothpicks and lay them out on a plate.
2. Fold the basil leaf and push it next over the toothpick.
3. Now comes a piece of mozzarella. Bocconcini sometimes comes as small marinated mozzarella balls and at times in plain brine. I picked out the plain ones. Also the ones I got were large so I had to slice them into smaller pieces. I cut them approximately the same size as the tomatoes.
4. For the dressing, I whisked together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, italian seasoning, pepper and salt and then drizzled it over the caprese. I made sure that I drizzled the mozzarella pieces generously. If you leave the salad out for a bit before serving it, the cheese gets marinated quite well. Also I just put these out on one plate, but you could get creative and lay them out in a line, or on a couple of different plates to spread it out in your party! Also when you start eating it, as you pick up each piece you can coat it nicely with the dressing that has dripped onto the plate. Enjoy!