Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Bites
Tomato, basil, and mozzarella - you'll never go wrong with that combination. These tomato, basil, and mozzarella bites use only a few ingredients so the key to the recipe's success is the quality of the ingredients, most notably the tomatoes and basil. The tomatoes are organic "Glacier" salad tomatoes from our garden which work well because their smaller size fits on the crackers better and looks nicer than a larger tomato cut in half.
We've made the recipe many times over the past few years using various cheeses (mozzarella, goat, smoked mozzarella, gouda, and brie) and although everyone always loves the little bites, the most popular choice seems to be regular mozzarella. We don't have access to fresh cheese, but the store bought "fresh" mozzarella is fine, even for our pickier foodie friends.
The salt can be a bit of a problem if added too early because it may make the tomatoes weep due to salt's tendency to draw out moisture, so you may be better off not adding salt at all if the tomato bites aren't going to be eaten right away. A little olive oil stroked on the basil leaf adds to the presentation, but they look fine without it.
The crackers should also be good quality. We like Ritz and Saltines, and love Triscuits, but they're not the best choice in this case. Our local stores carry both Dare and Carr's water crackers. Of the two, we liked the toasted sesame flavor of the Dare crackers, but the Carr's also worked very well. If we were serving these at a party we might consider cracker in squares and triangles, but the round crackers look nice considering the round nature of the cheese and tomatoes.
Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Bites Recipe
It's more a list of ingredients than an actual recipe:
- mozzarella cheese
- tomatoes, sliced
- basil leaves
- stone-ground crackers
- pinch salt