Caprese with Pesto Bites will be your go to appetizer this summer with homemade pesto that comes together in a snap!
I love summer for many reasons with the obvious ones being sun, warmth and hanging outside! My other love is produce that I can get at my local farmer’s market. I’m like a kid in the candy store when it comes deciding what to get. Each stand is a rainbow of fresh veggies and fruits with the aromas being just heavenly! I usually make a couple loops – first to see what is being offered then going back through and making my selections. It’s quite the process and takes me some time. I’ll also bring my camera to snap a few pictures.
We tend to entertain more during the summer months (it would be no fun being on deck in the middle of winter!) and these caprese bites are one of my go to recipes. What makes this appetizer so special you might ask? It is making your own pesto. It’s really easy to do and I would encourage you to give it a try! Not only does it taste great with these caprese bites but you can toss it with cooked pasta for an easy night dinner!
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- 12 cherry tomatoes
- Mozzarella cheese (do not use fresh-it falls apart when cut)
- 3-4 slices of Italian bread (or some other rustic type bread)
- Olive oil for brushing on bread
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (toast by placing in a hot pan and stir for 3-4 minutes)
- 1/4 cup romano cheese
- 1 large clove of garlic minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper if desired
- Cut cherry tomatoes in half and set aside
- Slice mozzarella cheese into 1/4" slices then cut into but 1" squares and set aside
- Brush both sides of bread with olive oil and crisp up by placing on a hot grill (watch and turn so they don't burn - you just want to get some grill marks on both side) then cut into about 1 1/4" squares and set aside
- To make pesto, place basil and pine nuts in a food processor and process until chopped fine
- Add romano cheese, garlic and cheese and process until mixed
- With blade running, drizzle olive oil slowly until it is incorporated.
- If desired, add salt and pepper to taste
- To assemble, place about a 1/2 teaspoon of pesto on bread, top with mozzarella, cherry tomato and secure with toothpick
- Serve immediately
I happen to love anything caprese so here is another way I make bites. Enjoy!