Now that you’re hooked on how easy it is to make Caprese Salad, why not turn it into an simple appetizer that happens to look pretty impressive? We call them Caprese Party Stacks.
If you haven’t tried the balsamic reduction yet, it’s nothing more than balsamic vinegar that has been reduced to about half its original volume. Zero sugar or honey added. This recipe makes about half a cup of the reduction, which is perfect if you prefer to serve it on the side with the Caprese Party Stacks.
If you decide to drizzle the reduction on before serving, you’ll have some left over, which can be refrigerated in a glass container up to a month. It’s worth the 15 minutes to prepare your own reduction since most prepared varieties contain honey or refined sugar, neither of which are necessary or positively add to the overall flavor.Print
Cherry tomato caprese salad stacks that are perfect for snacking and parties.
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 container sweet cherry tomatoes, halved (these run 10–16 oz, so adjust remaining ingredients as needed)
- 1 8-oz container mozzarella pearls, drained and patted with a paper towel (reserve liquid in original container)
- Fresh basil leaves, leave whole if small or slice into 1/2″ wide strips lengthwise if large
- 1 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Generous pinch ground black pepper
- Scant pinch salt
- Toothpicks or bamboo skewers
For the Reduction
- Add balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about half a cup (15-20 minutes).
- Stir occasionally to prevent burning. The vinegar will reduce to a glossy black liquid syrup that will thicken a bit more as it cools. Cool completely before using.
For the Stacks
- Strain mozzarella pearls and blot with a paper towel, reserving liquid in original container for extra cheese.
- Add tomatoes to a large bowl, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to coat, then transfer to a large dish or platter, cut side down. This will be the base of your Caprese Party Stacks.
- Slide one mozzarella pearl onto the toothpick, nearly to the top. If using large basil leaves, wrap a slice around a second mozzarella pearl and thread onto the toothpick. If using smaller basil leaves, simply slide onto the toothpick or skewer in between mozzarella pearls. Now would be a good time for some “quality control” to ensure that your basil ratio is correct, and not overpowering. We appreciate your sacrifice.
- Finally, push the toothpick into one of the tomato bases (do not lift from the plate), keeping the stack as straight as possible. Push the mozzarella pearls down to remove any extra space, if necessary.
- Repeat until all tomatoes have been used, then return any unused mozzarella to original container for later use. Sprinkle stacks with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Cover the plate of stacks with plastic until ready to serve. These can be made about an hour ahead of time. Anything longer, and the tomatoes start giving off liquid.
- Drizzle with balsamic reduction immediately before serving or serve the reduction on the side.
Number of servings determined by size of tomato container.
Note: Total prep time does not include reduction cooling time.
Keywords: caprese salad, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, caprese skewers, caprese party stacks, appetizers, snacks, balsamic, balsamic reduction, balsamic vinegar, sugar-free