Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer

Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella balls and basil in a wine glass, Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer is perfect for a dinner party or nice picnic.

Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella balls and basil in a wine glass, Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer is perfect for a dinner party or nice picnic.

What’s the best thing about living in Wisconsin? While I could never decide on the best, cheese is certainly up there! 

So, today’s salad/appetizer features cheese: small fresh mozzarella balls also known as Ciliegine.  Ciliegine translates as small cherry–and these quarter-sized spheres of creamy cheese are perfect in appetizers and salads!

Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella balls and basil in a wine glass, Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer is perfect for a dinner party or nice picnic.

Dinner Party or Picnic

If you look at the classic Caprese salad, slices of fresh mozzarella feature prominently, sandwiched between sliced tomato and basil leaves. But years ago, I had a unique and even tastier version of this salad.  Served on a tour of Crave Brothers Cheese near Madison (not a sponsored post), I’ve been meaning to recreate it ever since. 

Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella balls and basil in a wine glass, Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer is perfect for a dinner party or nice picnic.

Mmm!

This version, which I call a Deconstructed Caprese Salad, uses Ciliegine and cherry tomatoes instead of slices of the larger counterparts. It’s all tossed with julienned basil and “basil drizzle” then served in a wine glass. A cheese straw or breadstick is also a nice finishing touch (and someday I’m going to add a pinch of microgreens).

The dish has a natural elegance, and would be equally home at a fancy dinner party or nice picnic.

Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella balls and basil in a wine glass, Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer is perfect for a dinner party or nice picnic.

Hooray summer!

You can find Ciliegine packaged with oil and herbs (“marinated”) or in water. The marinated version makes this dish super easy, but if you can’t find it, just drain the Ciliegine and toss with some oil and herbs of your own (instructions in recipe).

Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella balls and basil in a wine glass, Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer is perfect for a dinner party or nice picnic.

Heirloom tomatoes add nice color variety if available

Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer
Serves 4
Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella balls and basil in a wine glass, Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer is perfect for a dinner party or nice picnic.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
348 calories
15 g
45 g
27 g
15 g
10 g
156 g
666 g
7 g
0 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
156g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 348
Calories from Fat 236
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g
41%
Saturated Fat 10g
48%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Cholesterol 45mg
15%
Sodium 666mg
28%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 4g
15%
Sugars 7g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
28%
Vitamin C
13%
Calcium
44%
Iron
35%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Basil Drizzle
  1. 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  2. 6 large basil leaves
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Salad
  1. 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (multicolor heirloom if available)
  2. 12 large basil leaves, julienned (see notes)
  3. 1 8-ounce package fresh mozzarella balls ( Ciliegine) in herbs, drained (see note if only water packed is available)
  4. Garnish of your choice, e.g small breadstick or cheese straws
Instructions
  1. Blend dressing ingredients in blender until almost smooth.
  2. Halve cherry tomatoes, then toss with drained Ciliegine and basil with dressing then spoon into wine glasses.
  3. Garnish with cheese straws or breadsticks if desired.
Notes
  1. To julienne basil, stack 6 basil leaves, then roll up like a cigar. Make 1/8 - 1/4 inch slices along the length of the "cigar" then unfold into basil ribbons.
  2. If you only get water packed Ciliegine, drain the cheese then toss with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon basil, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
beta
calories
348
fat
27g
protein
15g
carbs
15g
more
Art of Natural Living https://artofnaturalliving.com/

9 thoughts on “Deconstructed Caprese Salad Appetizer

  1. Mary Jo McDonald

    Mmmm, you make me hungry. I can’t wait to go to my first farmer’s market of the season on Sunday. Now I need to plan a dinner party so I can serve these.
    Mary Jo

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