One of the best flavor combos of summer is…ok, ok. There are too many to choose from, but a super popular one is the caprese salad. I’m changing the traditional caprese salad up with a stuffed tomato recipe – this caprese bite.
From the time I was young tomatoes and summer went together like peanut butter and jelly. Our family garden always yielded more tomatoes than one could eat. My mom canned jar after jar of pasta sauce, stewed tomatoes, and tomato juice, yet we still had plenty of fresh tomatoes left to use.
BLTs were a dish of summer, as was a tomato cucumber salad in white vinegar or sliced tomatoes with a dash of salt and pepper. But my very favorite would be a tomato/mozzarella combo. And not just any old tomato and mozzarella would do for a caprese salad. Sun ripened tomatoes warm from the garden and fresh mozzarella topped with fresh basil, salt, and pepper – perhaps a drizzle of balsamic.
Instead of a traditional caprese salad I decided to twist it up a little and combine my favorite rice stuffed tomato recipe with a caprese salad. Aren’t these caprese bites the cutest? And they’re super easy as a finger food. The instant I told the kids they could have them they swooped in and grabbed them, leaving nothing but an empty plate – and no other mess to clean up (except the cutting board and knife I used to make them.)
Instead of adding a drizzle of balsamic I took the idea of a lemon infused oil caprese skewer I tasted at Fresh Summit one year and added the smallest squeeze of lemon just before finishing them with a bit of salt and pepper.
This is one way to celebrate summer! One of the very best ways. But I imagine this caprese stuffed tomato recipe would also be lovely under the broiler for a couple minutes before being served warm at a winter party.
Caprese Stuffed Tomato Recipe
As you can see, this stuffed tomato recipe makes a great party appetizer, especially in summer as it celebrates the fresh flavors of the season. The lemon brightens the dish and rounds it out without being overwhelming. Best of all, you can adapt it to the size recipe you need quite easily without doing major calculations.
Caprese Stuffed Tomatoes
Yield 12 appetizers
- 12 cocktail tomatoes
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 12 fresh mozzarella balls (the minis)
- 1/2 fresh lemon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Wash tomatoes and cut top out of each one. Don't cut straight across but rather down in like you are making a cup. Careful not to go so far you cut through the bottom of the tomato.
- Scoop a little bit of the tomato flesh out - just enough to pop a mozzarella ball in the indentation.
- Add a leaf of basil to the scooped out tomato, placing it at a diagonal about halfway in so some peeks out over the mozzarella once it's filled.
- Place the mozzarella ball on top of the basil, pushing down gently so the mozzarella is wedged into the tomato.
- Just before serving, add a small squeeze of lemon and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
I dare you not to eat a whole batch of my favorite caprese stuffed tomato recipe all by yourself. Now go pin it before you forget. And make sure you share it with a friend who loves tomatoes or mozzarella…or both.