Tapenade Stuffed Mozzarella Cheese Appetizers

Tapenade Stuffed Mozzarella Cheese Appetizers Recipe

Bite-sized food is one of the best ways to create a romantic atmosphere for your Valentine dinner. That way you can feed each other while talking and kissing in between! To that end, I created cheese appetizers using small mozzarella balls that I emptied and stuffed with homemade tapenade. The preparation is quite simple if you prep everything in advance.

I made the tapenade using kalamata olives. I love the way the blackish deep-purple color contrasts so well with the white mozzarella; they're also the best choice because of their rich and fruity flavor. I served the mozzarella appetizers on herb-Parmesan crackers, so they're easy to pick up and eat in one single bite.

Ingredients

Yields: 24 appetizers

24 fresh mini mozzarella balls
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove pickled garlic (or raw garlic), finely minced
½ cup tapenade, as needed
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 anchovy filets (optional), chopped
1 tablespoon sweet basil leaves, blanched and coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups mixed lettuce, for garnish
12 herb-Parmesan cheese crackers


Directions

Prepping the mozzarella cheese: Create little "hats" by cutting the tops off the mozzarella balls. Using a melon baller, create a cavity by hollowing out the center. Set aside.

Making tapenade filling: In a mini-food processor (or blender), combine the chopped olives, anchovies (if used), 2 teaspoons honey, capers, basil, garlic and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Pulse until smooth. Drizzle with 2 tablespoon olive oil. Pulse until the oil is well incorporated. Transfer to a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons basil leaves. Season with black pepper. Stir well using a spatula. Check seasoning; depending on the saltiness of the anchovies, add more salt if necessary (I made 2 batches so there would be a vegetarian version).

Making the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the rest of the lemon juice, honey, olive oil and Dijon mustard. Stir well.


Assembly time:

I used the quenelle method to fill the mozzarella balls. Using 2 teaspoons, gather one portion of the tapenade filling in one spoon. Scrape the loose mixture from the sides using the other spoon. Repeat between the 2 spoons until the mound is tightly packed. Slide the mound into the mozzarella cavity. Repeat until all the mozzarella bites are filled.

Place 2 mozzarella balls per cracker. Cover with the little "hats". Place the crackers on a bed of lettuce.

Drizzle the appetizers with the lemon dressing. 

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!


Tips

For a vegetarian version, omit the chopped anchovies.

You can find pickled garlic in most Asian markets.

You could also serve these with homemade herb-cheese crackers.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 8, 2012.


Comments

comments powered by Disqus

Order my latest book:
Banh Mi

Related Posts

Tags


Recent Posts

Methi Chicken Curry Recipe
Methi Chicken Curry Recipe
Cherry Time (Cherry Recipe Suggestions)
Cherry Time (Cherry Recipe Suggestions)
Banana French Toast Cupcake Recipe
Banana French Toast Cupcake Recipe
Moroccan Mint Iced Tea Recipe (Video)
Moroccan Mint Iced Tea Recipe (Video)