If you’re looking for a festive and delicious appetizer to serve at your next holiday gathering, look no further than this candy cane caprese! This stunning appetizer is made with just a few simple ingredients. It’s ready in just 5 minutes, making it the perfect last-minute appetizer for any occasion! Candy cane caprese is not only delicious, but it’s also a visual feast for the eyes. The vibrant red, green and white colors are perfect for the holiday season, and the candy cane shape is sure to impress your guests!
Why You’ll Love This Appetizer
This is such a cute and impressive appetizer to bring to parties!
It’s easy to make and can be ready in about 5 minutes.
This appetizer is super kid-friendly!
You only need a few ingredients to make this candy cane caprese.
It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
This appetizer is so delicious and a healthier option.
It is colorful and made with fresh ingredients!
All you need to make this candy cane caprese is a serving board, knife, cutting board and mini ramekin.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes play a key role in the appearance and flavor of this candy cane caprese. They add a vibrant red color to the dish, making it visually appealing. Additionally, tomatoes provide a juicy, sweet, and slightly tangy flavor that complements the richness of the mozzarella cheese
Cheese: In candy cane caprese, cheese plays a crucial role in both flavor and texture. It provides a rich, creamy, and slightly salty flavor that complements the sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes. Be sure to use a white colored cheese, like mozzarella, to get the candy cane effect. If you are dairy free, feel free to use a dairy free mozzarella! If you can find cheese that is already in a circular shape, that is helpful!
Step 1: Gather your ingredients and grab your board.
Step 2: Slice the tomatoes and cut the cheese into circles.
Step 3: Alternate the tomatoes and cheese on the board to create a candy cane shape. Optional to add pesto for dipping and basil as garnish.
Candy cane caprese is best consumed within 12-24 hours for optimal flavor!
If the candy cane arrangement has already been assembled, carefully disassemble it and separate the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. This prevents the tomatoes from releasing excess moisture, which can make the mozzarella cheese soggy.
Store the sliced tomatoes in an airtight container to preserve their freshness and prevent them from drying out. Choose a container that’s large enough to accommodate the tomatoes without overcrowding them. Store the sliced mozzarella cheese separately to preserve flavor.
How To Serve
Candy cane caprese is a festive and visually appealing appetizer that is perfect for holiday gatherings or any special occasion. Here’s how to serve it in style:
Choose a festive platter: Select a large, platter or cutting board that can comfortably accommodate your candy cane arrangement. Opt for a platter with a festive design or a neutral color that complements the vibrant red of the tomatoes.
Garnish with basil: Tuck fresh basil leaves between the tomato and mozzarella slices, adding pops of green and a touch of herbaceous flavor.
Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze: Using a small spoon or drizzle bottle, carefully drizzle olive oil and balsamic glaze over the candy cane arrangement. The balsamic glaze adds a touch of sweetness and acidity, balancing the flavors.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper: To finish, sprinkle a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper over the candy cane caprese.
Serve with crostini or crackers: Surround the candy cane caprese with toasted crostini or crackers, providing a base for scooping up the delicious ingredients.
Additional garnishes: For extra visual appeal, consider adding sprigs of rosemary or thyme around the platter.
Candy cane caprese is a versatile appetizer that can be adapted to various tastes and preferences. Here are some delightful variations to add a twist to this classic dish:
Herb-Infused Olive Oil: Elevate the flavor profile by drizzling the candy cane caprese with herb-infused olive oil. Infuse olive oil with fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, or thyme for a burst of aromatic flavor.
Balsamic Reduction: Replace balsamic glaze with a balsamic reduction for a more intense and concentrated balsamic flavor. Reduce balsamic vinegar over low heat until it thickens and becomes syrupy.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Substitute fresh tomatoes with sun-dried tomatoes for a sweeter and more intense tomato flavor. Sun-dried tomatoes also add a chewy texture contrast to the creamy mozzarella.
Pesto Drizzle: Enhance the herbaceous notes by drizzling the candy cane caprese with pesto. Prepare homemade pesto using fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese for a vibrant flavor infusion.
Grilled Peaches or Nectarines: Add a touch of seasonal sweetness by incorporating grilled peaches or nectarines into the candy cane arrangement. Grill the peach or nectarine slices until slightly softened and caramelized for a delightful flavor contrast.
Prosciutto or Smoked Salmon: Add a savory element by layering thin slices of prosciutto or smoked salmon between the mozzarella and tomato slices. The salty and cured flavors complement the sweet tomatoes and creamy cheese.
Balsamic Pearls: Elevate the visual appeal by garnishing the candy cane caprese with balsamic pearls. These small drops of balsamic vinegar add a glossy and burst of flavor with each bite.
9Microgreens or Edible Flowers: Enhance the presentation by sprinkling a variety of microgreens or edible flowers over the candy cane caprese. Microgreens provide a delicate texture and subtle flavor, while edible flowers add a touch of elegance and visual interest.
Herbed Crostini or Crackers: Pair the candy cane caprese with herbed crostini or crackers for a satisfying crunch and additional flavor. Gluten free, if needed!
Experiment with these variations to discover your favorite candy cane caprese creations and impress your guests with your culinary creativity.
Can you make this dairy free?
Yes! You can make this candy cane caprese dairy free by using dairy free mozzarella.
Is this a healthy appetizer?
Candy cane caprese is made of fresh tomatoes and cheese and can definitely be part of a balanced diet!
Can I make this appetizer ahead of time?
I would recommend preparing the tomato slices and cheese circles ahead of time, storing them separately and then assembling it right before guests arrive!
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Candy Cane Caprese
- 1 serving board
- 1 cutting board
- 1 knife
- 1 mini ramekin
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 blocks white cheese dairy free if needed
- Gather your ingredients and grab your board.
- Slice the tomatoes and cut the cheese into circles.
- Alternate the tomatoes and cheese on the board to create a candy cane shape. Optional to add pesto for dipping and basil as garnish.