Caprese Salad with Mozzarella Crisps for Aggie

Surprise Aggie! Today is the virtual surprise baby shower for Aggie of Aggie’s Kitchen. We’re sharing Italian recipes in honor of Aggie and her growing family (and her growing belly!). My recipe is for a Caprese Salad made with Mozzarella Crisps (mozzarella cheese rounds that have been baked until browned and as crispy as the cheese at the edges of a lasagna pan).

Caprese Salad with Crispy Mozzarella Rounds by www.cookthestory.com

I’m so excited about this shower for Aggie of Aggie’s Kitchen. I’ve met Aggie a couple of times now and she is really such a sweet and kind gal. We live fairly close to each other and I hope that as our families grow we get to spend more time together. Her blog is full of fresh, healthy but hearty foods that I always love to drool over. Check out her Andouille Sausage, Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomoato Naan Pizza and her Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger for two tasty meals.

When I was a little girl, nothing excited me as much as going to a shower. Bridal shower or baby shower, it didn’t matter so long as I was in a pretty dress, my mom had made my hair go all wavy, my cousins were there and, of course, that there were all those little bits of food to eat.

I loved the layered sandwiches rich with mayonnaise and the spiraled ones with a cherry in the middle.

And the desserts! Oh boy!

I’m not sure that the food at showers was better than the food at other events. I think I just liked how small everything was.

You could fit so many of those different bites on your plate!

And I loved the whole idea of grazing at a shower. I’d run up to the food table, fill my little paper plate, sit, eat, giggle and then go back for another round.

Now as a grown up, I know that a shower is about celebrating a journey that a friend or loved one is about to embark on. Before the party I think about the person and what they might need for this life-changing event. And at the party, I look forward to giving them a big hug and maybe having a short moment to ask how they’re feeling and to offer a small bit of wisdom.

Oh heck, who am I kidding? It’s still all about the food!

And so, what better way to have a shower than to make food the star? As a little surprise, a bunch of us bloggers have gotten together to throw a surprise baby shower for our friend Aggie of Aggie’s Kitchen.

We’ve each come up with an Italian-themed recipe in Aggie’s honor. These aren’t strictly shower recipes but let me tell you, all of them have made my food-loving self very happy.

A surprise virtual shower for aggieskitchen.com

Congratulations Aggie, to you and your family. I can’t wait to read all about your new little arrival.

Here are the Italian recipes from all of the bloggers today. Below this list you’ll find the recipe for my contribution: Caprese Salad with Mozzarella Crisps.

Appetizers

Sundried Tomato Hummus from Robyn of Add a Pinch

Melon & Prosicutto Balls from Paula of bell’alimento

Bruschetta from Sheila of Eat2gather

Jalapeno Poppers from Ali of Gimme Some Oven

Grilled Naan White Pizza Bites from Jamie of Mom’s Cooking Club

Watermelon Feta Bites with Basil Olive Oil from Sandy of Reluctant Entertainer

Pesto Caprese Fried Wontons from Julie of The Little Kitchen

Blue Cheese Wedge Salad Crostini from Cheryl of TidyMom

Drinks

Toasted Coconut Milkshakes from Bev of Bev Cooks

Lemon Cream Soda from Angie of Eclectic Recipes

Peach Sorbet Bellini and Spritzers from Shaina of Food for My Family

Non Alcoholic Berry Spritzer from Lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks

Virgin Peach & Raspberry Bellinis from Milisa of Miss in the Kitchen

Italian Basil Sparkling Lemonade from Marly of Namely Marly

Italian Sodas from Laura of Real Mom Kitchen

Cafe Mocha Punch / or Iced Cafe Mocha from Amy of She Wears Many Hats

Salads

Italian Chopped Salad in a Jar {with Creamy Caesar Dressing} from Brenda of a farmgirl’s dabbles

Pesto Pasta Stuffed Tomatoes from Suzanne of Kokocooks

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad from Liz of The Lemon Bowl

Herbed Israeli Couscous Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella from Rachel of Rachel Cooks

Chickpea, Avocado, & Feta Salad from Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod

Lentil and Chickpea Layered Salad from Lisa of With Style & Grace

Entrees

Chicken Cacciatore from Meagan of A Zesty Bite

Zucchini, Bell Pepper & Edamame Stir-Fry from Cassie of Bake Your Day

Potato-Crusted Vegetarian Quiche with Zucchini, Tomatoes & Feta from Dara of Cookin’ Canuck

“Straw & Hay” Tagliatelle in Cream Sauce from Flavia of Flavia’s Flavors

Grilled Italian Chicken with Veggie & Bow Tie Pasta from Katie of Katie’s Cucina

Grilled Naan Pizza with Summer Veggies & Turkey Sausage from Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks

Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Panini from Kathy of Panini Happy

Desserts

Fresh Blueberry Shortbread with Lemon Cream Frosting from Sommer of A Spicy Perspective

Crostata di Mango from Lora of Cake Duchess

Italian Ice from Kristen of Dine & Dish

Roasted Banana and Nutella S’mores Bruschetta from Jenny of Picky Palate

Italian Cream Cake from Deborah of Taste and Tell

Panna cotta from Leslie of The hungry housewife

Fortune Cookies from Shari of Tickled Red

Baby Vanilla Bean Scones a la Starbucks from Tara of Unsophisticook

 

Caprese Salad with Crispy Mozzarella Rounds by www.cookthestory.com

And now, here is my recipe for Caprese Salad with Mozzarella Crisps

Caprese Salad with Mozzarella Crisps

This version of Caprese Salad uses rounds of mozzarella that have been baked until they're brown and crispy, like the cheese at the edges of a pan of lasagna. I've also used a parsley & garlic oil instead of basil. But you could absolutely go with pesto or some fresh basil leaves instead. This recipe serves two as an appetizer but you can double or triple it for more. Just always make sure that the shredded mozzarella is spaced out enough on the baking sheets.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into thick slices
  • 2 tsp. Parsley & Garlic Oil (or pesto thinned with a bit of olive oil)
  • coarse salt
  • coarse black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the mozzrella in 12 little piles, as spaced out as possible on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake the mozzrella in the preheated oven until thin, crisp and very brown around the edges, 5-10 minutes watching carefully after 5 minutes to make sure that they don't start to burn. Remove the pan from the oven and let the crisps cool before using a metal spatula to carefully remove them from the parchment paper.
  4. The crisps can be stored uncovered on a plate for 2 hours. After that, place in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day (they won't be as crisp but are still good).
  5. Lay the tomato slices and mozzarella crisps on a plate, overlapping them in alternating layers. Drizzle with the Parsley and Garlic Oil.
  6. Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt and a pinch of black pepper.

Now, scroll on down to the comments and tell me, what was your favorite thing about going to showers as a kid? Was it the food? Playing with the other kids? Getting all dressed up? Something else?