ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still time for some summer entertaining in most areas of the country. The days are still long enough to allow for cooking out and pool parties that last well into the night.
Summer appetizers need to be fresh tasting and simple to make with seasonal ingredients. There is really nothing more flavorful that fresh basil and vine ripened cherry tomatoes. When they are combined with some lightly marinated mozzarella and served on toothpicks they make a great way to begin any meal or as part of an appetizer buffet.
Best of all, it will only take you a few minutes to put these together.
Use both red and yellow cherry tomatoes, if you can find them. The added color just makes the whole plate prettier. If you like the classic Caprese salad you will love these delicious little bites.
- 1 pound mozzarella cut in 16 equal cubes
- 16 basil leaves
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper together until the mixture is well blended.
- Add the chopped, fresh basil, the tomatoes, and cubed mozzarella.
- Allow the ingredients to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Push a cheese cube on a toothpick.
- Fold a basil leaf and push on the toothpick.
- Add a tomato.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Makes 16 appetizers
For the best flavor you should make these just before you plan to serve them.
photo credit: Marye Audet