Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mini Caprese Salad Appetizers



These adorable mini caprese salad cherry tomato appetizers are made from three simple seasonal gluten free ingredients: cherry tomatoes which I grow in my yard, fresh pearl size or larger size fresh mozzarella balls, and fresh green garden basil which I also. This is a perfect summer last minute appetizer. It requires no cooking, is vegetarian and of course gluten free. It can be assembled in just minutes!

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes with tiny little  Mozzarella pearls


The inspiration to make these mini appetizers was the result of the two flourishing cherry tomatoes plants and a large fresh basil plant that I am growing in containers on my balcony.



My Cherry Tomato Plant
I love to grow cherry tomato plants because they grow very quickly, are extremely prolific,and the fruit ripens quickly. The first fruit offerings are usually ready to eat by the beginning of July, and the hearty plants will keep providing lots of little tomato jewels through the end of September. Yum.. fast, easy, and nutritious!

Ingredients:
1 container of cherry tomatoes, washed
1 container of tiny mozzarella balls , drained and marinated in the dip
3 sprigs of fresh basil

Dip:
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Using a serrated knife, cut a small sliver off the bottom of the cherry tomato to allow it to sit on the plate. Then cut the top off of the cherry tomato and scoop out the insides. Stuff tomato with a marinated Pearl sized or larger mozzarella ball and a piece of fresh basil. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and enjoy! If you are like my husband who doesn't care for vinegar, substitute freshly squeezed lemon juice in place of the vinegar.

                            

                             

If you like Caprese salad, you will love these cherry tomato mini appetizers which give you the same delicious taste as a finger food. For variations, I sometimes stuff the tomato with spreadable feta cheese or garlicky hummus for a dairy free version. The possibilities are endless.


How to Grow Cherry Tomatoes in Containers
This past May, I went to a local nursery and bought two tiny little cherry tomato plants and a large bag of organic potting soil. I divided the soil between two large containers and planted my tiny tomato plants, one in each container. I placed the containers on my balcony, watered them daily, and in just a few weeks they were covered with tiny clusters of flower blossoms, and the plant had quadrupled in size. The plants grew so tall , we had to actually tie and stake them to posts to keep the stalks from breaking.

Disclaimer: Beware ! Cherry tomatoes grow like weeds and can pop up anywhere. If you drop a cherry tomato on the ground this summer, it could turn into a cherry tomato plant next season.

For example: We did not plant this hearty cherry tomato plant that is in the picture below. Someone threw a cherry tomato into the bushes last summer. This summer a cherry tomato plant popped up right in the middle of one of our bushes!.

Look what happened to us: This cherry tomato plant is growing through one of our bushes!     


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19 comments:

  1. i love a caprese salad so I am going this route tonight!!!!!

    Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it the cutist and easiest way to enjoy a caprese salad. Just assemble

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  2. This is my kind of summer snack or lunch. Yummy! Great way to keep the house cool. Thanks for the tips on growing cherry tomatoes. I really want to try my hand at a garden next year.

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  3. My daughter is always stuffing her cherry tomatoes with whatever I'm serving for dinner. Chicken, pasta, rice, cheese. Whatever. Last week she stuffed tomatoes with blueberries! And she ate them!
    This looks great. I'll have to show my daughter. :)

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  4. These are a great idea! I love caprese salad, this is a great refreshing appetizer.

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  5. Yum! These appetizers look so tasty!

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  6. Hi Judee! Thanks for stopping by Comfy Cuisine. Happy to follow you as well! You photos are awesome! I have alot of vegetarian recipes so I think we will get along just fine! Have a great day!

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  7. Hi Judee,
    I just love this idea, I am going to have so much fun with this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon. Hope you are having a great week end!
    Miz Helen

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  8. Ciao Judee, thank you for your visit, I am following you, I can eat gluten but I make many recipes that are gluten free, and in fact I could say that the ingredients of the post you saw are perfect for you: Taro and cassava and breadfruit are all good starchy alternatives to wheat :-).


    Also I am envious of your tomato plants, it is winter in New Zealand now, so no tomatoes for me!


    Ciao
    Alessandra

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  9. Ciao Judee, thank you for your visit, I am following you, I can eat gluten but I make many recipes that are gluten free, and in fact I could say that the ingredients of the post you saw are perfect for you: Taro and cassava and breadfruit are all good starchy alternatives to wheat :-).


    Also I am envious of your tomato plants, it is winter in New Zealand now, so no tomatoes for me!


    Ciao
    Alessandra

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  10. Looks delish.

    We'd love you to share your recipes with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday

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  11. One of my FAVORITE snacks! Thanks for linking up on recipes I Can't Wait to Try!

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  12. Visiting here from Fresh Food Friday! :-) I absolutely LOVE this dish! I love the presentation and the colors! This would be a wonderful dish to share at a dinner party. It would be a hit with my friends for sure!

    I co-host a weekly foodie meme called Friday Food Fight and I would love for you to link up and share your Caprese salad. I hope to see you in the ring!

    http://deniseisrundmt.com/2011/08/12/my-own-margaritaville/

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  13. Hi Judee! I blog about healthy food over at Allergy Free Vintage Cookery, and I'm putting together a Virtual Dinner Party featuring my fantasy menu of allergy-friendly recipes. I'd love to include your Caprese Salad appetizer recipe... just wanted to get permission to use your photo. Drop me a note when you get a chance... I'm hoping to publish the Dinner Party post on Sunday morning.

    Thanks!
    Lisa
    http://allergyfreecookery.blogspot.com

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  14. This looks great and I can't wait to try it for our 4th of July gathering.

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  15. This is a really cool idea! I'm growing cherry tomatoes and basil at the moment, so I can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays, look forward to seeing you again soon.

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    Replies
    1. I have chosen to feature your salad this week! I have tweeted it, pinned it and shared it on my Facebook page. It will be featured on Summer Salad Sundays this coming Sunday. Thanks for linking up and I hope to see you again soon!

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  16. I went to a salad party and got grape tomatoes, pearl mozzarella, basil and put on a toothpick. Very cute. Caprese kabobs!

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