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I love summer get-togethers and entertaining at home but I also enjoy being a guest at someone else’s fete. We get invited to a number of small potluck style gatherings, which is such a great way to have a casual party without having the stress of making all of the food yourself, or the expense. I also think many people like to contribute creatively by making and sharing their special recipe with others. This quick and easy tomato caprese toast appetizer is perfect for such and occasion.

Tomato Caprese

Heirloom Caprese Toast
I’m a bit obsessed with our outdoor grill in the summer, I even used it to toast the baguette rounds because I wanted them to have a bit of a smoky flavor, but the easiest way toast them is under the broiler. You could also make this dish using a platter to display each Caprese stack, but presenting it this way takes up much less room and makes for a very easy dish to transport.

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Toast
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
  • 1 french baguette, cut into 12-14 slices
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into 12-14 rounds
  • 4 vine ripened heirloom tomatoes, cut crosswise into 12-14 slices
  • 2 bunches of fresh basil
  • 1 batch quick pesto (below) or store bought pesto
  • ½ cup olive oil for brushing
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Brush both sides of the bread rounds with a light coating of olive oil.
  2. Place the bread on a baking sheet and toast under a broiler, flipping after a minute or two to brown both sides. Remove from oven.
  3. Spread a layer of the pesto on the side of the toast facing up.
  4. Place a basil leaf over the pesto so it hangs over the edge a bit.
  5. Add a slice of mozzarella on top of the basil leaf and give it a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  6. Place a slice of tomato on top of the stack and another basil leaf on top of the tomato.
  7. Repeat this process until you have 12 or 14 stacks, depending on how many slices you cut.
  8. Pick up each stack and place it on its side in a casserole dish, putting one in front of the other, continuing until you have two rows.
  9. Serve with a small pitcher or dispenser of aged balsamic vinegar to drizzle on top of the Caprese toast.

tomato caprese toast
Quick Basil and Walnut Pesto
Cuisine: Italian
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place everything in a food processor or inversion blender and blend it until it is almost pureed and has a paste like quality to it.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator or freeze.


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