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.)
This is so beautiful. You alway vary your presentation so well. Beautiful combination of sweet/savory...
Thank you, Aimée! 🙂
Arthur in the Garden!
Arthur, thanks so much! Hope you try it!
Colette @ JFF!
I like how you think out of the box.
Colette, I love people like you who like the "out-of-the-box" creations! XO
Ruby red and bursting with sweetness there is nothing quite like fresh strawberries! Adore the idea of caprese salad with strawberry; an inspired recipe!
Would this be good with goat cheese instead of mozz??
Hi Lauren! Yes it would delicious -- only don't attempt to marinate the goat cheese, just drizzle the lemon-basil mixture over them when they're done. 😀
Yes I was thinking marinating wouldn't work
With the goat cheese. I may try them both ways.. Some with goat cheese and some with mozzerrella!!
Sounds good, Lauren. Enjoy! 🙂
I can't do the math my mouth is full. GREG
Unbelievable! Aren't you glad you thought of this combo? Truly inspired...
I admit, I was skeptical! These blew me away!!! Delicious!!
That's awesome! So happy to hear it -- thank you.
These look absolutely amazing. I'm a sucker for strawberries. I wish I lived somewhere where they were in season year round. I would do a happy dance.
Me too! Nothing like a peak-of-season berry! 🙂 Thanks so much.
What at great appetizer for any upcoming party!
Hope you try it!
What an elegant salad, so perfect for Summer!
Thank you, Emily. Hope you try it!
Strawberry and basil are such a great combination, these sound wonderful!
Thanks, Brian! Enjoy! 🙂
Does it make it taste better if the cheese is marinated for say 1-2 hours?
Hi Henry, the flavors will likely be a bit stronger if you marinate for a longer period of time. It won't make a huge difference, but rather a subtle one. If you try it, please let me know how it goes. And enjoy! 🙂
Wow, I just came across this recipe. What a great idea to pair strawberries and mozzarella. I think I get some strawberries and try it tomorrow.
Thank you so much, Gerlinde! I'm excited you're trying it. Hope you love it as much as me. 🙂 ~Valentina
What fun! And very pretty, too. 🙂
Absolutely intrigued ! Must must do !
I hope you love it, Davorka! Thank you. 🙂 ~Valentina
Thanks so much, Frank! 🙂 ~Valentina
Just gorgeous, Valentina! These just scream summertime! Great table centerpiece especially when entertaining!
Thank you, Christina! Hope you love them. 🙂 ~Valentina
David @ Spiced
Summer on a toothpick? You've got my attention! This sounds like a really fun summer recipe, and we've had a ton of fresh strawberries around recently. In fact, I think we have all of the ingredients to make these caprese skewers. Now I just need to open a bottle of wine, and we'll be all set!
Thanks, David. Yes, the summer strawberries are amazing! Enjoy. 🙂 ~Valentina