My Caprese bite is a natural for merenda, just that one perfect bite of a classic!
They are easy to make and great to have on hand for a quick snack. Add a few olives, bruschetta and a chunk of salame and it’s a satisfying small meal.
This is a wonderful appetizer and is always well received at gatherings of just about any kind where there is food. They disappear quickly so, you might want to prepare more than you think you need.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic drizzle
- Sea salt
This hardly needs a recipe, however there are a few things about mozzarella I’d like to share. If you can find it and your purse can afford it, use Buffalo mozzarella (if not, whole-milk mozzarella is fine). Fresh mozzarella is perishable, should be stored in the water it comes in and should be eaten as soon as possible. Various sizes have different names.
Ciliegine, the tiniest mouthfuls (1/3 ounce) are about the size of a cherry. Bocconcini are 1-inch in diameter, weighing in at about 2-ounces. Ovalini, the larger ovals weigh about 4-ounces each and can be used for slicing, grating or cutting into chunks.
Use the size that fits the tomatoes you’ll be using. I used ciliegine for this recipe. If you only have the larger ball of mozzarella, cut it into the size chunks you need.
After you thread the tomato and mozzarella on the skewer, place on a whole basil leaf, drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic reduction. Each time I prepare any version of Insalata Caprese, I cannot help but remember the view from the gardens of Villa San Michele … and long for a return visit.