I’m mildly obsessed with anything involving caprese ingredients. Mozzarella, basil, tomatoes….that’s just about the perfect combination in my book. Whether it’s in the form of a salad, sandwich, or bruschetta, it reminds me of summer.
Panera Bread used to make a delicious caprese salad. It was only available in the summer, and whenever it came out, I promptly went there to devour the salad. I haven’t seen it at Panera for the past few years, but I always think about the delicious ingredients during the summer. Of course, other places offer caprese dishes, too. And when I’m in the mood, those dishes often appear on my plate, and are gone in a flash.
So it was no surprise that I was thinking of creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, and juicy tomatoes last weekend. Summer staples, right? But instead of putting those ingredients into a salad, I went with a different option. Caprese Bites! French bread slices, topped with fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, and vine-ripened tomatoes created this delicious appetizer, or anytime snack!
The ingredients for these Caprese Bites are fairly simple. French bread, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, tomatoes, and olive oil. I chose to first toast the bread with a touch of olive oil before I layered the ingredients. I then added a slice of fresh mozzarella, diced tomatoes, and chopped basil leaves. Pop it in the oven for about ten minutes and voila! Caprese heaven!
One bite and I was sold. The fresh basil, combined with the mozzarella and tomatoes reminded me of eating my favorite salad at Panera. Feel free to drizzle with some balsamic vinegar for a bruschetta taste.
French bread slices, topped with fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, and vine-ripened tomatoes created these delicious Caprese Bites.
- 1 French baguette, cut into 20 slices, 1/2 inch thick
- 5 campari (or Roma, plum, etc.) tomatoes, diced
- 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 20 thin discs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to medium broil. Lightly spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Brush olive oil over tops of bread slices and place on baking pan.
- Place in the oven and broil 4-5 minutes, until the tops of the bread are golden brown.Remove from oven. Set oven to 400F.
- Place one mozzarella slice, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped basil, and 1/2 teaspoon of chopped tomato on top of bread.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients until bread slices are prepared.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over each baguette slice.
- Place into oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
Caprese bites will keep covered in the refridgerator for up to 3 days.