I love the combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil (a taste from the Italian region of Campania) in these bite-size appetizers. The juicy explosion you get when you pop one into your mouth is the genuine taste of springtime.
This is a new spin on a classic Italian dish, and no one knows how to showcase the tomato like the Italians. In Italy, unlike most salads, it is usually served as an antipasto (starter), not a contorno (side dish).
We made hundreds of these little suckers for our friend Dani’s wedding…and the still went fast!
Caprese Tomato Bites
1 pint cherry tomatoes, about 16
2 mozzarella cheese sticks
16 fresh basil leaves, small
Extra virgin olive oil
Scoop out and discard pulp an stem of the cherry tomatoes.
Invert tomatoes onto paper towels to drain.
Slice each mozzarella stick into eight rounds.
Turn tomato halves over; drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Wrap a leaf of basil around a slice of cheese (like a taco) and insert into a tomato.
Chill and serve.
Makes 16 single servings.
Note: This is the super-simple version, and it’s awesome, as is. If, however, you’d like to take this to the next level, replace the cheese sticks with some fresh mozzarella.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.