Caprese Salad Canapes

Caprese salad is a product of Italian cuisine. It is called "Insalata Caprese" or just "Caprese" in Italian. It is a simple salad made with a small number of ingredients.

The salad usually contains fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Some variations are made with balsamic vinegar (like our recipe), pesto, olives, lettuce, oregano, or rucola.

When it comes to serving, it is usually arranged on the plate. Since the colors of the dish are white, red, and green, it resembles the Italian flag.

The Caprese salad is eaten without bread. Usually, it should rest for about 15 minutes before serving. Like any other dish, Caprese salad has many variations.

It is best when it is made with traditional ingredients, but some people like to make it into pasta, lasagna, bread, pizza, soup, etc. Some replace the tomatoes with red bell peppers, radicchio, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.

Caprese salad origins

The origins are, of course, related to the Capri island in Italy. But, no one can claim with certainty who was the inventor and when was Caprese salad invented.

Some say that Tiberius was the one who invented the recipe in the first century A.D. when he visited the island.

Others say that Constantino Moffa went to work in a Swiss hotel and then carried the recipe there.

However, we can be sure that the dish became popular in the 1950s when it was served to the Egyptian King Farouk as the afternoon appetizer.

He preferred to eat it inside a sandwich, so he was known as the inventor of the Caprese sandwich. After that, it became a regular item on the menus in restaurants worldwide.

The ingredients

The three main ingredients - tomato, mozzarella, and basil - are the essence of the dish. However, there are different types of these ingredients. Therefore, in order to make a perfect Caprese salad, you need to choose the perfect kind of each ingredient.

1. Tomato

Tomatoes should be between the unripe and overripe state. When it comes to color, the best choice is a copper-red color.

The important thing to know about tomatoes is that you should not keep them in the fridge. It is best to keep them at room temperature.

When you leave them in the fridge, they become watery and lose a lot of taste, permanently. For that reason, sometimes it happens that you buy tasteless tomatoes in supermarkets. It is because they keep them in the fridge.

Tomato origins go back to the Aztecs who were using it in their dishes when the Spanish started the conquest of their empire.

The Spanish then took the plant and brought it back to Europe. From there it was introduced to other parts of the world.

Tomato is a food that is used in many, many ways. It can be eaten cooked or raw and as a part of sauces, salads, various dishes, and drinks.

They grow on vines that are too fragile to hold the weight of the tomatoes, so they have to be supported (usually by some kind of rope attached to the vertical stick).

The interesting fact about tomato is that it is not actually a vegetable. Botanically speaking, it is a fruit, alongside cucumbers, eggplants, squashes, avocados, green beans, and bell peppers.

But they are all prepared as vegetables since they don't contain that much sugar as "regular" fruit does. Tomatoes are preserved fresh, as a whole, or in sauce or paste.

But, it is popular to dry the tomatoes since they preserve their nutritive value. The most common way of drying the tomatoes is the sun-drying for a longer period of time.

2. Mozzarella

If you are making the Caprese salad, you have to use mozzarella cheese. There is no suitable replacement.

The perfect choice of mozzarella for Caprese salad is "mozzarella di bufala". It is handmade with buffalo milk which is actually tastier than cow's milk.

Another tip would be to choose the larger pieces of mozzarella cheese, the best choice would be at least 1 lb.

Then, you should pay attention to the ingredients on the label (if there is one). The process of making this cheese is very slow.

If the mozzarella contains citric acid or curd, the process of making mozzarella had been speeded up. Always try to find the mozzarella that has not been processed too much.

These poor quality mozzarella cheeses are often too salty, as well. The salt is added to cover up the bad taste.

Besides the mozzarella di bufala, you can use a smoked version called "mozzarella affumicata" if you are willing to experiment a little.

Mozzarella is a semi-soft, fresh, milky, white cheese from Italy's southern parts. Usually, it is made from water buffalo milk or cow's milk, but there are also variations made with sheep or goat milk.

The word mozzarella comes from the word "Mozza" which means to cut. Mozzarella is kept in salted whey in the upper part of the fridge. The best time to use it would be just after it is made or the day after that.

The longer you keep it, the more taste you lose. For that reason, mozzarella cheese should not be frozen at all. If you do that, you will lose all flavor and all you will be left with after the defrost is the powdery cheese (a ghost of tasty and fresh cheese it was before it was frozen).

The interesting fact about the mozzarella cheese is that the buffalo milk provides double the amount of cheese compared to the cow's milk. A ton of buffalo milk gives about 52 pounds of mozzarella, whereas a ton of cow's milk provides "only" 28 pounds of mozzarella cheese.

3. Basil

Fresh basil represents the green color in this salad and you should try to keep it green. It is important to break the basil with your hand and don't use the knife.

Otherwise, you will end up with a metallic taste. Also, don't replace it with oregano, because it is too strong for the recipe. When choosing basil, the best choice would be the smaller leaves because the flavor is stronger and more intense. So, you can choose a sweet variety called "Genovese basil".

Basil is a herb used in cuisines worldwide. It is the main ingredient in the famous Italian pesto sauce. The sweet Genovese basil is the most commonly used basil.

Besides that version, there is lemon basil, holy basil, globe basil, purple basil, African blue basil, cinnamon basil, Thai basil, and many more. It is a plant with beautiful leaves that can be 1.2 inches to 4.3 inches in length and 0.4 inches to 2.4 inches in width.

When used in cuisines, it is used fresh. It is best to use it fresh and at the very end of the cooking because cooking it for long ruins the flavor.

caprese salad

Yields1 Serving

Ingredients for Caprese salad
 5 Cherry Tomatoes
 2 oz Mozzarella Cheese - fresh, preferably cut into dices
 Fresh Basil Leaves
 1 ½ tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 Balsamic Vinegar
 Toothpicks

1

Caprese salad is a light and healthy dish but at the same time a tasty snack. This type of dish is an appetizer, but you can serve it at any time of day. You can make it with fresh tomatoes, alongside the delicious mozzarella cheese, and with basil and olive oil on top. This is a colorful dish with ingredients that are full of nutrients that are valuable for your healthy diet. It is easy and fast to assemble and serve. You don't need any cooking or special preparation, but you will get a tasty dish. Caprese salad is usually served on toothpicks and then on the plate. This salad can be served on any occasion or to any crowd. Even the kids will enjoy it and find it very interesting because it is served on toothpicks.

caprese salad

Assemble the ingredients on the toothpicks
2

1. Firstly, take the tooths and on each one place the mozzarella dices and then a couple of basil leaves, and the cherry tomatoes
2. Secondly, arrange the assembled toothpicks on the plate
3. Lastly, gently spray a little bit of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar over them

Additional info - the three main ingredients of this salad, tomato, basil, and olive oil are extremely healthy ingredients. Tomato is one of the super-food that protects from vascular diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and protects your blood vessels. So, make sure to include the tomatoes in your diet, and since you are already doing that, why not eat the tasty Caprese.

Additional tip - in order to get the real taste of the Caprese salad, eat the entire contents of the toothpick at once!

caprese salad

 

Ingredients

Ingredients for Caprese salad
 5 Cherry Tomatoes
 2 oz Mozzarella Cheese - fresh, preferably cut into dices
 Fresh Basil Leaves
 1 ½ tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 Balsamic Vinegar
 Toothpicks

Directions

1

Caprese salad is a light and healthy dish but at the same time a tasty snack. This type of dish is an appetizer, but you can serve it at any time of day. You can make it with fresh tomatoes, alongside the delicious mozzarella cheese, and with basil and olive oil on top. This is a colorful dish with ingredients that are full of nutrients that are valuable for your healthy diet. It is easy and fast to assemble and serve. You don't need any cooking or special preparation, but you will get a tasty dish. Caprese salad is usually served on toothpicks and then on the plate. This salad can be served on any occasion or to any crowd. Even the kids will enjoy it and find it very interesting because it is served on toothpicks.

caprese salad

Assemble the ingredients on the toothpicks
2

1. Firstly, take the tooths and on each one place the mozzarella dices and then a couple of basil leaves, and the cherry tomatoes
2. Secondly, arrange the assembled toothpicks on the plate
3. Lastly, gently spray a little bit of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar over them

Additional info - the three main ingredients of this salad, tomato, basil, and olive oil are extremely healthy ingredients. Tomato is one of the super-food that protects from vascular diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and protects your blood vessels. So, make sure to include the tomatoes in your diet, and since you are already doing that, why not eat the tasty Caprese.

Additional tip - in order to get the real taste of the Caprese salad, eat the entire contents of the toothpick at once!

caprese salad

Caprese Salad Canapes
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