Caprese salad is certainly no new creation, but I loved the way Fine Cooking turned it from a salad course to an easy-to-eat appetizer so much that I knew I had to make them! I adore caprese salad – you just can’t go wrong with fresh mozzarella and basil with home-grown tomatoes. Add a salty slice of prosciutto and that pretty much seals the deal for me.
I found that their recipe amounts weren’t very accurate, however, so be cautious in following their recipe to a T. A pint of tomatoes, a small container of fresh mozzarella and two packages of prosciutto were just about right. The basil came from my garden so not certain how much you’d need to buy, but any sized package should do; just cut a bit smaller if you need more and vice versa. Caprese salad is very forgiving, so don’t worry about getting the exact same amounts of everything in every bite – a little more or a little less of basil or prosciutto just won’t matter. :-)
In addition to those changes, I also added a quick balsamic reduction for an extra layer of flavor. The first time I made them was for a casual barbecue at a friend’s house, and that time I made them as is (which is great just on its own). But I was hired to cook for a dinner party so I thought the addition of the balsamic would be a nice touch. It went over like gang busters – all the guests were commenting on how amazing this tasted, and everyone wanted to know what the sauce was. It’s simple to do: put a good balsamic vinegar in a saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce to a strong simmer until it reduces to about half. When it coats the back of a spoon – this is called a “nappé” consistency – it’s ready. It also thickens as it cools and will become syrupy – it’s SO GOOD!! I just placed the sauce in a small bowl in the center of the platter and let the guests dip away.
Enjoy, and Happy Summer!
Prosciutto-Wrapped Mozzarella & Basil (or, as I like to call them, Easy Caprese Bites)
This is the exact recipe as found on finecooking.com.
- 8 thin slices prosciutto (preferably imported), halved lengthwise
- 8 large basil leaves, torn in half
- 8 small fresh mozzarella balls (about 1-inch in diameter), halved
- 8 ripe grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Arrange 8 slices of prosciutto flat on a cutting board and put a piece of basil on one end of each slice. Top each piece of basil with a piece of mozzarella and a tomato half, matching the cut sides to make a ball. Season very lightly with salt and generously with pepper and then roll up the balls in the prosciutto. Secure each with a toothpick and set on a platter. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with the olive oil and serve.