We love when people stop over and appetizers are fun to make and interesting to eat. Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad is a simple Italian salad, made of mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
This salad can be prepared many ways. This method takes a it’s inspiration from finger food at a party. The bamboo picks act as great handles for this quick dish. The look of the dish is now more vertically oriented. It is also accessible for easier distribution and preparation is similar to the traditional preparation.
When I experiment with dishes I believe there is a heart to the dish and that is why it was originally designed in that way. For such a “simple” dish, the elements can only be slightly modified before removing that heart. The same goes for the ratios of ingredients, where a little too much basil or too little oil and the dish fails. To build a variant of this salad I chose to slightly deconstruct and reconstruct, and let the physical structure shine. Cherry tomatoes bring a pop of flavor as one bites into the fresh fruit (yes a tomato is a fruit). Providing a handle separates the ingredients, but also the skewer ensures the “Perfect Bite” as the best ratio of flavors are eaten together. The cherry tomato also keeps the moisture inside so the cheese and basil stay fresh and dry until consumed.
The dish is made to resemble the colors of the Italian flag: green, white, and red.
- Toothpicks (3+ inches)
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 2 bunches of basil
- 1 pkg of small mozzarella balls
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- Salt to taste
- Skewer a mozzarella ball, a folded basil leaf, and a whole or half cherry tomato onto a toothpick, repeat.
- Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl, whisk until emulsification is complete. (I sometimes add ingredients to a small Tupperware, close it with an air tight lid, and shake vinaigrette vigorously for faster results)
- Sprinkle vinaigrette over the salad
- Garnish with more fresh cracked pepper, sea salt, and olive oil if desired.