Caprese Salad Bites are an easy appetizer for a casual gathering or the perfect snack when you’re looking for something sweet and tangy.
One thing I have never been able to wrap my taste buds around is licorice. Specifically, black licorice. Most people either love it or hate it. I’m a member of the latter group.
I’ll politely decline fennel, and anise isn’t welcome in my tea. Basil, on the other hand, is a completely different story. I can handle the hints of licorice in fresh basil. It’s especially delicious when paired with the creaminess of mozzarella pearls and the sweet spark of a grape tomato. Finish it off with a tangy balsamic vinegar, and we’re looking at a caprese salad.
A bit about caprese salad and keto.
Traditionally, caprese salad consists of fresh mozzarella, slices of tomato, and fresh basil, topped with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. While not traditional, balsamic vinegar lifts a caprese salad to a new level and has become a fan favorite of diners everywhere.
Unfortunately, balsamic vinegar has too many carbs per tablespoon for a keto diet. If I really wanted to I could write in those extra 3 carbs during my food planning sessions, and they would be totally worth it. But, I don’t always have room for the extra carbs, depending on the other foods I have planned for the day.
A balsamic vinegar reduction, however, is another sad story for the keto dieter. Yes it tastes amazing on caprese salad, but sadly those carbs won’t evaporate. For this reason, when you reduce the vinegar you’re just increasing the number of carbs in a tablespoon, making it a far less keto friendly condiment than before.
Decisions on ingredients
Don’t worry, there is hope for balsamic vinegar in this dish yet! My homemade balsamic vinaigrette provides a tangy kick with a nod to the traditional salt and olive drizzle. Thus, less carbs and more flavor.
As a result, you can have your balsamic vinegar and eat it too while on a keto diet!
Slicing fresh mozzarella is not a skill I possess. Instead of struggling with the mozzarella, I decided to use mozzarella pearls instead. These small marble sized mozzarella bits are perfect for making bite sized snacks.
While bigger tomatoes, such as beefsteak, can pack a punch of flavor, little grape tomatoes can as well. In addition, they’re a lot easier to work with. Plus, they partner with the mozzarella pearls and fresh basil perfectly.
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