A friend of mine called me on Friday with a time-sensitive request: She was going to baby shower the next day and wanted to “make and take” a fresh appetizer to off-set the dips and high-calorie appetizers that would surely be abundant. She was also responsible for the drinks, and she needed a recipe that would be fit for a crowd of health-conscious females.
What to make? My Mini Caprese Bites and my Berry Festive Sangria, of course!
Mini Caprese Bites
24 red cherry tomatoes (about one pint)
24 yellow cherry tomatoes (about one pint)
48 small, fresh basil leaves
48 mozzarella balls, (called ciliegine, and they are about the size of marbles)
French sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
48 decorative tooth picks
Cut each tomato in half. Thread the ingredients onto the pick in this order:
a red tomato top, one basil leaf, a mozzarella ball, and a yellow tomato bottom. Place on a platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with a side dish of excellent quality olive oil for dipping. Also make available mixed olives or a tapanade and crackers, for a nice complement.
Makes 48 “bites.”
Berry Festive Sangria
This drink is delicious and healthy — perfect for the gals who want to celebrate yet keep an eye on calories and nutrition!
1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine
2 T brandy
½ lemon, cut into very thin slices
1-½ cups mixed, sliced fruit (i.e., strawberries, peaches, blueberries, oranges)
¼ cup agave nectar
In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients and stir. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours. When ready to serve, pour into tall (Collins) glasses and include some fruit in each serving.
Makes about 6 – 8 glasses.