Strawberry appetizers are fun and delicious. When you add lemon, basil and mozzarella to strawberries, you get a beautiful masterpiece. Strawberry Caprese with Lemon and Basil is the essence of summer — on a toothpick.
Inspiration for Strawberry Appetizers
I can’t help but buy strawberries almost daily during the summer.
They’re so sweet that I usually I just rinse them off and eat them by the dozen. Sometimes though, it’s fun creating recipes with them. And this strawberry appetizer is one of my favorites.
Strawberry Caprese with Lemon and Basil is so pretty and it’s even more delicious!
It can be presented as a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre or plated as first course.
What’s in Strawberry Caprese with Lemon and Basil?
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt, pepper
The combination of lemon and strawberry with the aromatic basil and mild cheese is over-the-top tasty.
It’s tangy, sweet and and makes for the perfect bite.
Strawberry Appetizers are Unexpected
I think we usually think of strawberries as being the star of desserts, or perhaps salads. They’re unexpected served in a partially savory appetizer.
Where to get the Best Strawberries
Though we can get them from warm places, like Mexico during the cooler months, they’re never as good as they will be peak season, grown close to where you buy them.
So if you have a good Farmers Market near you, that’s usually going to be the best place to find the sweetest berries that are locally sourced.
Choose Organic Strawberries When Possible
You should always try to buy organic strawberries. Strawberries are at the top of the “dirty dozen” list as the most pesticide-contaminated produce. This is one time the extra cost is worth it.
During the summer months strawberries should be very flavorful and sweet. If you make this off season, or if for some reason your summer berries aren’t sweet enough for you, add about ¼ teaspoon of sugar to the lemon juice.
I hope you love this Strawberry Caprese with Lemon and Basil as much as I do!
More delicious strawberry appetizers:
- Strawberry Avocado Salsa
- Grilled Strawberry Basil Kebabs
- Minty Lime Strawberry Granita Cups
- Strawberry Chipotle Compote Bacon Meatballs
- Roasted Strawberry Goat Cheese Crostini
And a few straight up strawberry recipes:
- Strawberry Rosemary Cake
- Strawberry Frangipane Toast
- Strawberry Swirl No-Churn Ice Cream
- Strawberry Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Strawberry Caprese with Lemon and Basil
- about 2 dozen small to medium sized fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (see notes)
- zest from 1 medium-sized lemon
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, drained and cut into 2 dozen cubes
- 1 dozen medium to large-sized fresh strawberries, washed and dried, stems removed
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, combine the basil leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil and salt.
- Add the cubed mozzarella and gently toss to be sure all of the cheese is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator, and marinate for 15 minutes.
- While the cheese is marinating, cut the strawberries, horizontally, into ¼ to ½-inch slices. (There will be a handful of "scraps" that you should eat. Right now, while you're cooking. Delicious!)
- Remove the marinating cheese from the refrigerator and place 1 dozen of the largest strawberry slices on a serving plate. Place one piece of cheese on top of each strawberry base, being sure to pick up bits of basil and lemon zest with each one. Add a second slice of strawberry on top, followed by another piece of cheese (again, well coated with basil and zest). Now gently stick a toothpick through each stack.
- Crack black pepper over the entire plate and serve. (Be generous with the pepper, it adds a nice kick to the sweetness of the berries.)