Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Mini Caprese Antipasto
Un'Insalata Classica in un Boccone - A Classic Salad in One Bite
Turn this simple summertime salad into a tiny treat to serve at your socially distanced backyard gathering! Although the season is coming to an end, the heat is only just starting to relent, and cooler summer nights call for light, refreshing fare to share at get-togethers with family and friends.
Caprese salads are comprised of ingredients that are the colors of the Italian flag. Basil for the green (verde), mozzarella for the white (bianco), and tomatoes for the red (rosso). The Italian flag is often referred to as the tricolore, so named for its three colors. It is said that the verde represents hope (speranza), the bianco represents faith (fede), and the rosso represents love (amore).
Italy was only unified in 1861. Before that, the Italian peninsula was made up of smaller independent kingdoms and republics that were ruled by various leaders over time, including Roman emperors, popes, and Napoleon Bonaparte. In the 1800s, a movement called the Risorgimento, or Resurgence, began that would eventually lead to the unification of Italy under one king, Vittorio Emmanuele II. The fact that the different regions of Italy were under the influence of many cultures over the years is one reason why so many dialects are spoken in the country.
While Italians still boast of loyalty to their local regions, and food and traditions change as you move throughout the peninsula, the tricolore flag unites them. I can get behind an appetizer that symbolizes unity, can't you?
La Ricetta - The Recipe
Gli ingredienti - the ingredients
bocconcini* di mozzarella ~ mozzarella balls - 7 oz
pomodorini ~ cherry tomatoes - 16 oz
basilico ~ basil - a handful of leaves
olio extra vergine d'oliva ~ extra virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons
oregano secco ~ dried oregano - to taste
sale ~ salt - to taste
glassa d'aceto balsamico ~ balsamic vinegar glaze - for drizzling
You will also need stuzzicadenti (toothpicks)!
*Bocconcini means little bites. It comes from the word boccone (bite) and the suffix -ino (little).
Step 1. Cut your bocconcini and tomatoes in half.
Step 2. Put them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and oregano and toss to coat. Let sit for a few minutes to soak up the flavor.
Step 3. Tear your basil leaves into smaller pieces.
Step 4. Skewer the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil on toothpicks as shown in the photo above.
Step 5. Drizzle balsamic glaze over the plated bites and serve!