The combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto (or basil) is a popular appetizer that can be served in many different forms. I have served it as the traditional caprese salad, layering slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil. And I have used a fresh basil sprig as a skewer and threaded it through small tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls.
This version features pesto instead of basil, which gives it a bit more flavor. Also, I like the look of it, and it’s easy-to-eat finger food.
Serves about 6-8 as an appetizer
½ pint cherry tomatoes, or other small or plum tomatoes
4-5 tablespoons Arugula Walnut Pest0 (click to link to the recipe, or use your favorite prepared basil pesto)
1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
Note: I used the small balls and quartered them. Another option is to use buffalo mozzarella, and cut it into ¼-inch cubes.
Sprinkle tomato halves with kosher salt, then top each with about 1/8 teaspoon of pesto. Finish with fresh mozzarella. If you want more pesto flavor, garnish with a dab of pesto on top of each piece of mozzarella.
Tina’s Tips: You can prepare this up to two hours before serving—just keep the plate covered until you are ready to serve.
Also, be aware that refrigerating tomatoes changes their texture and sugar content. Instead, store fresh tomatoes in a cool place out of the sun.