Check out my recipe for making a Candy Cane Caprese Board!
We eat Caprese ALL THE TIME! So, when it came time to make festive appetizers for this time of year for Christmas, it only made sense to make Caprese...but to make it even better by making it look festive! Of course, I found myself on Pinterest...and stumbled on the candy cane Caprese idea from The Bakermama. This is my take on it.
Festive "boards" have been going crazy all over the internet this year, especially on Instagram and TikTok. One of the nice things about making "boards" is that you can 100% customize them to your liking. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want it to be. With minimal ingredients, you can make a Candy Can Caprese Board.
The Candy Cane Caprese board gets its name for obvious reasons...it's a candy cane-shaped Caprese salad on a board. You can make it any size you want. It's super easy to make. Actually, the hardest part is finding a board or serving platter big enough to fit the candy cane shape. I found that the biggest "board" that I have, which is totally flat, is a cutting board that is 11.5 X 19 inches. For this recipe, the bigger the board the better. The shape just does not do well with a smaller base.
I served the candy cane Caprese with a couple of different types of olives. Depending on how big your board is, you can add in many other things like a small dish of balsamic glaze, additional Olive oil for dipping, crackers, prosciutto, or nuts. I would recommend putting those extra items in a small bowl instead of straight on the board as the fresh mozzarella slices and tomatoes have a fair amount of moisture in them and you likely don't want soggy crackers.
Tips for making Candy Cane Caprese Board
Caprese is made of fresh mozzarella, slices of fresh tomato, and fresh basil leaves. There are a lot of different variations, but those are the main ingredients that are in every Caprese.
You can use any type of tomato that you would like. However, be sure to use ripe, fresh tomatoes as one of the reasons Caprese is so great is due to the freshness of its ingredients. Depending on how much Caprese I'm making, will determine what type of tomatoes I use. If I'm just making a small amount for myself, sometimes I'll use cherry tomatoes cut in half. If I'm making a larger amount, I choose large beefsteak tomatoes.
Balsamic glaze is just balsamic vinegar that has been reduced. When the balsamic vinegar reduces, it takes out some of the vinegar flavors and becomes sweeter and thicker in consistency. To make a balsamic glaze, simmer in a pot on the stove over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until thickened. Be careful not to fully boil or over-reduce it as it will become gummy in texture. The ideal consistency is that of honey or thickened syrup.
To make a Candy Cane Caprese Board, you will need a large, flat board. I don't recommend that you use a board or platter that is not flat as the juices and oils will drip and puddle on the plate and the candy cane will not keep its shape well. I found that a board that is 11.5 X 19 inches worked well. A larger board would work even better and provide more room for additional items like bread and crackers.
Fresh mozzarella is sold in different-sized balls or logs and is usually sold in or near the fresh deli section of the grocery store. Fresh mozzarella is usually packed in water and has a much higher moisture content than "regular" mozzarella. "Regular" mozzarella is usually sold in slices or shredded and is usually located in the cheese and lunchmeat aisle at the grocery store. Essentially, they are the same cheese but the fresh mozzarella has a much higher moisture content. "Regular" mozzarella cheese is drier, has a longer shelf life, and is great for melting on pizzas, sandwiches, or on top of pasta. Fresh mozzarella does not melt as well, which is why it's usually used in cold dishes versus hot dishes.
Put the leftover Caprese in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator. Leftover Caprese is best if eaten within a day or so as there is a lot of moisture in both the fresh mozzarella and the tomatoes.
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Ingredient substitutions and tips for making Candy Cane Caprese Board:
The full ingredient list is found at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
Mozzarella- For this recipe you must use fresh mozzarella cheese and not low-moisture or "regular" mozzarella cheese.
Tomatoes-Large fresh tomatoes are recommended. The fresher the better!
Basil-Be sure to use fresh basil. You will need about 20 leaves but that will vary based on the size of the leaves. You can also put an extra garnish of fresh basil on the board it you would like.
Olive Oil- No substitution, Olive Oil is recommended.
Balsamic Glaze- I buy pre-made balsamic glaze at the grocery store but you can make your own by reducing balsamic vinegar on the stove for 10-15 minutes. The flavor will become sweeter and taste less like vinegar. I do not recommend using regular, unreduced, balsamic vinegar for this recipe.
Salt-Freshly ground sea salt is best to use. Table salt is very fine in comparison to freshly ground salt. The freshly ground salt adds great texture to the Caprese.
Pepper-Freshly ground black pepper- adds texture and additional flavor.
Directions for making Candy Cane Caprese Board:
1. Start on the left side of the board (this will be the top end of the candy cane shape) and place a slice of mozzarella on the board and then alternate slices of tomato and slices of fresh
2. mozzarella behind it creating a candy cane shape.
3. Place a couple of basil leaves in between every 3 or 4 slices of tomato and mozzarella.
4. Drizzle the candy cane with Olive oil and balsamic glaze.
5. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the candy cane.
6. Garnish with olives, nuts, crackers, or bread.
***Be sure to serve with small appetizer plates and forks so that everyone is not eating off of the board.
Pin Candy Cane Caprese Board on Pinterest:
Candy Cand Caprese BoardRate this Recipe Print Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 Large Board You can use a wood board or a flat serving tray.
- 16 Ounces (453.59 g) Mozzarella (Fresh and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices)
- 2 Large (2 Large) Tomatoes (Fresh and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices)
- 20 Leaves (20 Leaves) Basil (Fresh- you can use more or less based on your preference and the size of the leaves.)
- 2 Tablespoons (1.97 Tablespoons) Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons (1.97 Tablespoons) Balsamic Glaze
- ¼ Teaspoon (0.25 Teaspoon) Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon (0.25 Teaspoon) Pepper
- Start on the left side of the board (this will be the top end of the candy cane shape) and place a slice of mozzarella on the board and then alternate slices of tomato and slices of fresh
- Place a couple of basil leaves in between every 3 or 4 slices of tomato and mozzarella.
- Drizzle the candy cane with Olive oil and balsamic glaze.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the candy cane.
- Garnish with olives, nuts, crackers, or bread.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only.
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