Caprese salad is one of my absolute favorite dishes, and one that really epitomizes summer, in my opinion. It’s good every which way – splayed out on a plate, piled high, or in these little bites, smothered with the lovely marriage of a good-quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Fresh, juicy, colorful and flavorful… what’s not to love?
Not to mention, it can help make you friends!
I brought this bountiful plate to a happy hour gathering in our new neighborhood last Friday, where we met so many welcoming, friendly people (If you’re reading, hey neighbors!) while enjoying a lot of delicious dishes and drinks. I was paying more attention to our new friends than the food, but before I knew it, these bites were gone! Not only were they easy and quick to put together, but everyone seemed to enjoy them, too. Drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and assembled in 20 minutes, this was a simple, scrumptious little appetizer that will appeal to anyone!
In the future, I think I’ll add some proscuitto or sun dried tomatoes to the bites, but I think you’d agree they’re super delicious just as is. Try them the next time you have pals over or need to bring a fancy but non-fussy appetizer to the table!
Mini Caprese Salad Bites
Yield: Makes 50 bites
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
24 oz. cherry tomatoes, rinsed and pat dry
Fresh basil, about 20 leaves
16 oz. mozzarella ciliegine (small mozzarella balls), marinated in oil or resting in water
50 toothpicks, cocktail forks or small bamboo skewers
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a generous pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk together and set aside.
Arrange ingredients and a platter for serving. Assemble the bites on a toothpick by starting with one basil leaf, then one cherry tomato, one mozzarella ball, and another basil leaf. Place on the platter and repeat process until no more ingredients remain.
Drizzle bites with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
To transport, cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep away from sun and heat. Can be made up to 1 day in advance; keep refrigerated.