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Simple Cooking: Bite-Sized Caprese Salad Appetizers

By Caitlin Klein in Food on Jun 13, 2012 7:20PM

The key to a good caprese salad is good ingredients. The ingredient list is small, so the quality needs to be large. This appetizer is made with grape or cherry tomatoes. Little guys like that can sometimes be sour. When buying small tomatoes, the key is to trust your nose and eyes. You want tomatoes with ruby red color and an earthy, slightly sweet smell. Don’t be shy - get those nostrils right up against the container. Under-ripe tomatoes won’t smell like much and might look a little pale. Luckily, summertime is the best time to find sweet, robust tomatoes, even small ones.

Chicagoist’s Bite-Sized Caprese Salad Appetizer
Makes enough for 6-8 people

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
Mozzarella (fresh would be best, but you can do it with block cheese, too)
Fresh basil leaves
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar or Commercial Balsamic Glaze

Using a sharp knife, slice the top 1/3 of the tomato off. Use a spoon or melon baller (preferred) to scoop out the tomato innards. Save all of that in a bowl to put on some pasta later or something. Now you have little tomato cups. If your tomatoes are particularly spherical, you might need to slice off a tiny bit from the bottom to get it to sit up straight.

Cube the Mozzarella to approximately the size of your tomato cups.

Using a spoon or dropper, carefully place a few drips of olive oil in the bottom of each cup. Wrap the Mozzarella cubes in the fresh basil and nestle into the cup. Finish with Balsamic vinegar. Dusting on some freshly ground black pepper is optional. Pass around and enjoy!