Caprese Salad Wreath
It’s red and green and shaped like a wreath! How perfect is this Caprese Salad for Christmas? This post is sponsored by Pompeian. Pompeian knows that for today’s home cooks, mealtime is not just about fueling up, it’s about experimenting with the latest food trends (like good, old, nostalgic comfort foods!) to create shareable, Instagram-worthy dishes. Tag your pictures with #trendinginthekitchen to show us your own Instagram-worthy dishes!
I find mozzarella so comforting. It reminds me of being a kid, probably because it’s on pizza and other kid-friendly foods. Combine that happy, comfort food with some basil and olive oil though, and it turns into an adult-friendly wonder: Caprese Salad! I love Caprese Salad. So much. I also love serving it to guests. One of my favorites is this Carpese Pasta Salad. I’ve been making it for picnics and summer potlucks for years and there are never any leftovers. So good. But how do I make my beloved Caprese into a Winter Holiday Wonder?
Enter the Caprese Salad Wreath. Yesssss.
This looks fancy and difficult to make. But it’s pretty simple, if a tad time-consuming. You make a quick mixture of shredded mozzarella, cream cheese, and flavorful olive oil, and then stuff it into cherry tomatoes (that last part is the time-consuming part). Then you arrange fresh basil leaves in a circle on a plate, top with a circle of tomatoes (like a donut of tomatoes, really). And voilà!
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Yes, hallowing out the tomatoes and then stuffing them takes a little while (it’s about 15 minutes per pint of tomatoes) but once they’re filled, arranging them is a piece of cake. Or should I say a piece of cheese? Ha! I’m so lame!
OK, Here are the instructions for making the Caprese Wreath:
In a food processor, combine 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 8 ounces room temperature cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of tasty olive oil. I go with something that has a lot of flavor like the Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It has a full-bodied flavor that is fruity with overtones of freshly cut grass and an aftertaste of walnuts and tomato leaves. This extra virgin olive oil is extremely low in acidity, yet has a spicy, bitter character, making it perfect for salad dressings and anything to do with Caprese Salad. Another reason to choose Pompeian is that all Pompeian olive oils and organic vinegars are made in compliance with the Non-GMO Project Verified Standard and bear the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal.
Next, use a paring knife to cut around the top of a cherry tomato. You want to angle inwards.
Pop out the part you’ve cut and gently squeeze out any seeds left inside. Repeat with two pints of cherry tomatoes.
Use a spoon to gently fill each tomato.
Push the filling in with your fingers if needed. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the outside of the tomato if some filling has smudged on there. Put the tomatoes on a plate and refrigerate until just before serving. Refrigeration sets the filling nicely.
Arrange about 20 fresh basil leaves in a ring towards the edge of a medium sized plate.
Top the ring of leaves with a ring of tomatoes.
Do several rings of tomatoes to create a nice wreath effect. Refrigerate for up to 3 hours before serving.
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It’s red and green and shaped like a wreath. How perfect is this Caprese Salad appetizer for Christmas?
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened (room temperature)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 20 fresh basil leaves
- Measure the mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into a food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Core the top out of the tomatoes. Squeeze each one gently to get out the liquid and seeds.
- Use a teaspoon to fill the tomatoes, pushing in with your fingers as needed. Wipe tomatoes clean with a wet paper towel.
- Arrange basil leaves in a ring on a dinner plate. Top with tomatoes also in a ring.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set the filling inside of the tomatoes.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Pompeian. All opinions are my own.