Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Caprese Sticks and Tomato Mozzerella Pesto Puff Pastry Spirals---For A Virtual Bridal Shower

Caprese on a Stick for Jessica's bridal shower 10-1-12

Today I’m joining with some other bloggers for a Virtual Bridal Shower for Jessica from My Baking Heart!  She’s getting married—soon!  Nikki at Pennies on a Platter is hosting Jessica’s bridal shower.  She’ll have a round up with all the bloggers’ posts with links to their delicious contributions for the shower.  I can’t wait to see it!

I’ve known Jessica in the blogging world almost the whole time I’ve been blogging, since she has always been involved with Tuesdays With Dorie even all through Baking From My Home to Yours.  She is also faithful with the French Fridays With Dorie group who are cooking and baking their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table cookbook.  I tried to keep up with that group, but was finding it too hard to keep that up weekly along with all the other things I’m doing.  Jessica almost never seems to miss a post.  Now we both continue Tuesdays With Dorie as this year we’ve started baking our way through Baking With Julia.

I decided to make an appetizer for the shower.  Actually, I ended up making two.  First of all, with my always blooming AeroGarden full of basil, I kept thinking about these little tomato-mozzarella-basil sticks—perfect bites sitting on a plate drizzled with balsamic syrup. 

Caprese Sticks, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

cherry/grape tomatoes

fresh mozzarella pearls


balsamic vinegar

First, in a small saucepan over low heat, reduce some balsamic vinegar.  About 1/4 cup of vinegar will reduce to 1-2 tablespoons and will thicken into a syrup consistency.  Let it cool while preparing the caprese sticks.  First add a tomato to the stick, then a small basil leaf and end with a mozzarella pearl.  Make as many as you’d like.  Drizzle some of the syrup on a plate or serving platter (it looks the best on a white plate).  Set the prepared sticks on the syrup.

*If you find one whole basil leaf too strong on each stick, you can tear them smaller or use smaller leaves.  I think they are good, but some might think it a little strong.


Love that balsamic reduction!  Caprese is one of my favorite flavor combinations.  These were super simple to make.  I love that the mozzarella pearls aren’t round, but look more like gems. 

I also recently made some pesto puff pastry spirals for a baby shower I hosted.  I actually make them for all kinds of occasions.  Sometimes the spread on them is a little different, in the past I have spread them with some sauteed spinach with garlic, cooled and chopped finely, but they are almost always sprinkled with chopped roasted red pepper, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.  Roll up each side of the puff pastry and slice into spirals. 

Tomato and Pesto Cheese Spirals 9-27-12

Love the light, crisp, flakiness of these and the pesto and cheese flavor is delicious!

Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Puff Pastry Spirals (2)

Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Puff Pastry Spirals, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed

about 4 tablespoons prepared pesto (or store bought)

1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red pepper

1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped small (optional)

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

*Other times, I have also added some finely chopped artichoke hearts and/or some finely chopped sauteed spinach with garlic (cooled before spreading over the pastry).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lay one puff pastry out flat on a lightly floured counter.  If any of the seams are slightly torn, pinch them together with your fingers.  Roll with a rolling pin the puffy pastry (which will also help seal any tears) until it is a little thinner than it is originally. 

Spread evenly about 2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto (or sauteed/cooled spinach, may use or need more per sheet of pastry, it’s really to taste) onto the puff pastry.  Next sprinkle on the red pepper and if using, the tomato and artichoke.  Sprinkle on half the mozzarella cheese and parmesan.  Roll from the long ends of the pastry each side to half way.  Slice the rolled pastry into 15-17 slices and lay each spiral flat on the baking sheet.   Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and crispy and the cheese is melted.  While the first sheet is baking, prepare the second sheet the same way.  Serve slightly warm.

Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Puff Pastry Spirals 3

I always eat way too many of these.  ;)

So fun to be part of Jessica's virtual bridal shower!  Thanks again for inviting me, Jessica, and for hosting the party, Nikki.  Check out what everyone brought to the party at Nikki’s blog!  Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and wedding, Jessica!  Enjoy your day! 

 Love this picture/invitation!


sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more said...

oh they both look really good, I could eat tomatoes and mozzarella all day.

Nikki said...

woohoo! TWO dishes for the shower means more food for us! If only this was a realy life party. :) I could munch on both of these all day!

spike said...

stunning! love the presentation

Jessica @ Sunny Side Up said...

I can not even express how much I wish we were really gathering in real life for this shower! All of this food is making me hungry (and I just ate dinner! :))

Kelsey said...

Both of these treats look so good. And your pics of the Caprese sticks? Gorgeous!

Unknown said...

I simply adore appetizers!!! One of my favorite kind of parties is one where they strictly serve appetizers (and cocktails of course). LOL These look wonderful Katrina! The photo of your caprese sticks reminds of musical notes. So pretty!

Unknown said...

Oh yum, it all looks fantastic Katrina! I adore the balsamic reduction, I could eat that all day every day :)

Krystal R said...

I agree, two dishes for the shower mean more food!! I love these flavor combos and would eat these all day long if I could!!

Joy said...

Hi Katrina!

This is Joy (of Hot Oven, Warm Heart) and I was also a "guest" at Jessica's virtual bridal shower. I must admit, your beautiful and absolutely scrumptious looking elephant ears with tomato mozzarella pesto are my favorite appetizer of the day. (Shhh, don't tell anyone!) I love classic flavor combination and the colors make for such a gorgeous presentation. These are going on my must-make list next time I need to entertain, or am asked to bring along a dish. Thanks for the recipe!

I'd love for you to stop by my blog and check out my dessert contribution, Personalized Biscoff Sandwich Cookies. I hope to hear from you soon :)

Have a great day!
Joy (Hot Oven, Warm Heart)

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Absolutely stunning, Katrina. One of my favorite apps is a caprese-type dish. You hit the nail on the head with these and I'm so, so happy that you were able to participate! Thank you for your friendship over the years! :)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

these are the perfect party nibbles!

Barbara Bakes said...

Love your picture. Caprese never looked prettier.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Beatrice Smith said...

Awesome! The guests most probably enjoyed every bit of those cheese. Simply envious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It would be great for almost every party you can think of, even a pool party!

Sarah Oliver said...

Looking at the Caprese, this would be a great garden picnic idea, pool pary, home blessing, almost everything. Thanks for posting the recipe.