If you are looking for a simple, make-ahead appetizer, look no further. We were having some friends over for dinner a few nights ago and it was Italian food on the menu. I wanted to do a caprese but more as an appetizer. This caprese turned out great – mess free and made ahead!

With its distinct aroma and leafy good looks, this plant is one of the most widely known and grown herbs in the world. This member of the mint family has been used as a medicinal plant, and its oils and extracts are said to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Fragrant fresh basil, for instance, offers a healthy dose of blood-clotting vitamin K — 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil provide 27% of the RDA — as well as vitamin A, manganese, and magnesium. You can read more about the health benefits of basil here.

  • 20 grape tomatoes (feel free to cut the tomatoes in half if you prefer)
  • 10 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed (or get the little ball mozzarella aka boconccini)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves, stemmed and separated
  • 1/3 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Toothpicks
  1. In a large bowl, toss grape tomatoes, cheese, olive oil, basil leaves, garlic powder, salt and pepper until they are well coated.
  2. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Assemble by skewering one (or half) tomato, one piece of mozzarella cheese and a basil leaf on each toothpick.
  4. Enjoy!