Crusty Italian Bread layered with homemade pesto, smoked mozzarella, blistered cherry tomatoes and a homemade balsamic reduction. Perfect for summer entertaining!
This appetizer sounds a lot more complicated than it is. That’s what I love about it. It comes together in less than 30 minutes and makes a pretty impressive appetizer.
It has all of the flavors of summer I love rolled onto one piece of toast.
It begins with a loaf of crusty bread, some fresh tomatoes, basil and my favorite smoked mozzarella cheese. If you have trouble finding smoked mozzarella you can always substitute regular mozzarella. Although it’s totally worth the effort to track it down.
Searing the cherry tomatoes in a hot pan gives them a nice caramelization on the outside and makes the sweet tomatoes savory. To blister the tomatoes simply add a bit of olive oil to a cast iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is nice and hot add in the tomatoes and cook until they are nice and carmazlied on the outside and soft to the touch. They make an awesome side dish too.
To save some time you can always use store bought pesto. I made my own using pecans and fresh basil.
You can’t have a caprese dish without the balsamic reduction. It pulls everything together. It is simply balsamic vinegar and brown sugar simmered until reduced by half and nice and thick.
Serve these Caprese Crostinis with Blistered Tomatoes and Smoked Mozzarella at your next get together!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 12 slices smoked mozzarella
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 12 slices of crusty baguette
- basil pecan pesto, recipe follows
- chopped basil for garnish, if desired
- 1 cup basil
- ½ cup pecans
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Add olive oil to a large cast iron skillet. Over high heat sear the tomatoes until they are caramelized on the outside and become tender, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Meanwhile, place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up. Keep and eye on them so they do not burn.
- Take out of the oven and spoon some pesto onto each crostini. (You will have pesto leftover).
- Next place 1 slice of cheese onto each crostini. Place them back under the broiler until the cheese has melted.
- Take out of the oven and top with the blistered tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
- Garnish with extra fresh chopped basil if desired. Serve immediately.
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until you are ready to assemble your crostini.
- Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half. Keep warm until ready to use.