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s’mores-style plant-based caprese
by Jackie Newgent | May 21, 2021 | 1 Comment
If you’re looking for a fun way to start a meal with your family or a cookout with your vaxxed friends, this s’mores-style plant-based caprese concept is absolutely it! Everyone gets to make their own hors d’oeuvre like they’re toasting marshmallows. Though 100% savory, it’s still just as much of a treat as desserty s’mores. Plus, you don’t need to wait until after dinner.
I’ve written up a recipe below. But just use it as a guide. You won’t really feel like you need a recipe when you make these. Here’s the gist of what you’ll do—or have others do.
This is the part you’ll want to take care of on your own. Lightly brush both sides of baguette slices with olive oil and grill or pan-grill them until grill marks form. This can actually be done well in advance. Then, cut off the tops of the cocktail tomatoes and scoop out insides of the tomatoes, ideally using a grapefruit spoon. The remaining tomato pulp can be tossed into a salad or pasta dish—so it doesn’t need to be wasted! Oh, and go grab some metal skewers. Or if you’ve only got bamboo skewers, do get them soaking in water (at least 30 minutes in advance) since they can easily burn.
Just before you grill the s’mores-style plant-based caprese
Others may want to start getting involved in the prep at this point. Stuff each tomato with a basil leaf and a plant-based mozzarella cube (hint: I like Miyoko’s Creamery Organic Cashew Milk Mozzarella); position tomato tops back on tomatoes; and secure onto the metal or water-soaked bamboo skewers—ideally one per skewer. Now they’re ready to get fired up!
Gather around the campfire or grill to carefully toast your pre-meal goodie over the open flame, like you’re roasting marshmallows. (Hint: If it’s just you, you can carefully do the grilling indoors over a gas burner flame.) While you definitely can enjoy your tomato straight from the skewer, here’s what I suggest doing. Place each flame-grilled stuffed tomato onto a grilled baguette slice. Sprinkle with sea salt, balsamic reduction (glaze), and olive oil, and then top with additional basil leaves and baguette slices. To enjoy, just remove the skewers and savor every scrumptious bite like you would s’mores. The messier the better, right?!
One of these s’mores-style plant-based caprese picks makes a perfect, party-worthy hors d’oeuvre. But you can certainly serve a couple of them for an appetizer or even a few of them as an entrée. Ideal for glamping … if that’s your thing. So much yum!
You’ll adore this fun and savory version of s’mores. It features cocktail tomatoes that are stuffed with plant-based mozzarella and fresh basil. You’ll toast them up on skewers over an open flame, like they’re marshmallows. And then you’ll enjoy them between grilled baguette slices with olive oil, balsamic glaze, and more fresh basil. It’s still just as much of a treat as desserty s’mores!
6 small slices seeded or whole grain baguette
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste, divided
3 Campari cocktail tomatoes or extra-large cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons organic balsamic reduction or glaze, or to taste (see tip below)
Lightly brush both sides of the baguette slices with half (or more) of the olive oil. Grill or pan-grill slices over direct medium-high heat until grill marks form on both sides.
Cut off tops of the cocktail tomatoes and scoop out insides of the tomatoes, ideally using a grapefruit spoon. (Tip: Reserve tomato pulp for other purpose, such as tossing into a salad or pasta dish.) Stuff each tomato with one basil leaf and one plant-based mozzarella cube. Position tomato tops back on tomatoes. Secure onto metal or water-soaked bamboo skewers. (Note: If using bamboo skewers, make sure they’re soaked with water for at least 30 minutes before use as they can burn easily.)
Carefully grill the stuffed cocktail tomatoes over an open flame (on a BBQ grill, campfire, or gas burner) like you’re roasting marshmallows.
Place each flame-grilled stuffed tomato onto a baguette slice. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Drizzle with desired amount of balsamic reduction and remaining olive oil. Top with remaining basil leaves and baguette slices. Remove the skewers and indulge! Serve one as an hors d’oeuvre or as many as three for a large appetizer or even an entrée!
Tip: To make organic balsamic reduction, add 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) organic balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer to desired syrupy consistency (reduced to about 2 to 3 tablespoons), about 8 to 10 minutes. Store in a jar until ready to use. Any remaining balsamic reduction can be stored in the fridge for several weeks.
Cheese swaps: Roll up soft treenut (cashew) cheese into balls and use in place of the vegan mozzarella cubes. And, of course, you can use traditional mozzarella cheese if you’re not a 100% plant-based eater.
Keywords: caprese, s'mores, party app, plant-based appetizer, vegan, grilling, cookout
Looking for other party-ready, plant-based hors d’oeuvres or apps? Try my potato salad skewers with herbal pesto topping (see recipe HERE), easy roasted beet dip (see recipe HERE), or cashew cheese bruschetta with pear-thyme “compote” (see recipe HERE).