CAPRESE APPETIZER WREATH
For the most festive times of the year, when family and friends spend time at our home, one of my favorite things to prepare is a festive and healthy Caprese Appetizer Wreath. Red and juicy grape tomatoes, creamy fresh mozzarella balls, fresh basil and served with a beautiful and perfect balsamic reduction, this is the perfect start for holiday get-togethers!
I always try to balance out our holiday sweets and treats with a selection of fresh vegetables, and have you ever seen anything more beautiful? One bite and you won't be able to stop! This Caprese Appetizer Wreath is a show-stopper!
A SIMPLE FLAVOR-PACKED RECIPE.
You only need four simple ingredients to create this healthy and delicious appetizer:
Fresh Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella Balls (bocconcini)
Balsamic Glaze (ready-made or follow my easy and delicious recipe for homemade)
FOUR EASY STEPS....
This holiday appetizer is so easy to make that it's the perfect thing to let your little ones help with!
Start by layering fresh basil leaves on a round platter. Have you ever seen such HUGE fresh basil in your life?
Layer fresh grape or cherry tomatoes on top of the basil - the redder and fresher, the better!
Ahead of time, I prepare homemade Balsamic Glaze - it's so easy to make and tastes DIVINE, but if you are in a time-crunch, you can used ready-made Balsamic Glaze. Drain the fresh mozzarella balls and drizzle with a little bit of balsamic glaze, cover them and let them sit in the refrigerator until we're ready to serve.
Now it's time to layer the balsamic-glazed mozzarella balls on top of the juicy red tomatoes. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil and a couple tablespoons of Balsamic Glaze over the top.
Place the remaining Balsamic Glaze in a small bowl in the center of your wreath and serve to ooohs and ahhhs! Never has a holiday appetizer tasted fresher and healthier!
12 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes (washed & drained)
10 ounces fresh mozzarella (bocconcini) balls
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried sage
Flaked sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Fresh basil leaves
1-1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. PREPARE BALSAMIC GLAZE: Combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until reduced by a third and thickened like syrup. Stir in dried herbs, salt and pepper. Remove from heat, cover and refrigerate until cool.
2. PREPARE WREATH: Drain mozzarella balls and place in a small bowl; drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of Balsamic Glaze. Stir gently until evenly coated, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. Arrange fresh basil leaves in a circle on a large round serving platter.
4. Layer the tomatoes on top of the fresh basil. Top with balsamic-glazed mozzarella balls. Drizzle with olive oil and 2-3 tablespoons of Balsamic Glaze.
5. Place remaining Balsamic Glaze in a small bowl in the center of your wreath.
6. Garnish with additional fresh basil.
7. Serve with toothpicks or bamboo picks – I like to get a few appetizers started by layering tomatoes and mozzarella balls on bamboo picks and placing them on top of the wreath.
YIELD: 8-10 servings
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