When the temperatures topped 100 in New York this summer, I wanted a snack that was light, quick and cool. These easy mozzarella toasts put a tasty twist on a standard caprese salad, with assertive herbs and capers that balance out the creamy cheese.
They're super simple - just sauté a little garlic and chilis in olive oil, add capers and oregano, and drizzle over fresh mozzarella. The spices give the oil a good kick without being overwhelming, though you could always dial down the chilis or swap in basil if oregano's not your thing.
For company, I'd serve the cheese as part of an antipasto platter, with a side of olives and cured meats. Instead of slices, consider mini mozzarella balls for easy nibbling. Best of all, this easy appetizer takes just a few minutes in the kitchen, leaving time to enjoy a cool glass of crisp white wine with guests.
Fresh Mozzarella Toasts with Spicy Herb Oil
Adapted from Bon Appetit. Makes 6 appetizer servings.
5 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons nonpareil capers
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in small skillet over very low heat. Add garlic and crushed pepper and stir just until garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes (if garlic starts to color, remove from heat immediately).
Remove from heat; stir in oregano, capers, salt, pepper and remaining oil. Spoon over cheese slices, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with toast or crackers.
Related: Classic Caprese Salad
(Images: Liz Vidyarthi)