This appetizer is high on the ‘wow’ factor. Easy to make? Definitely. Pleasing to the eye, nose and tongue? Absolutely. Capable of impressing husbands, dinner guests and toddlers? Yep. I highly recommend you put this one on your to-do list. You’ll find it listed on the Valentine’s Day-worthy menu suggestion at the back of the cookbook, and I agree that it would make a wonderful start to a romantic evening. But I also feel that they are the perfect ‘all-season’ appetizer. The red, white and green colours would fit perfectly with any Christmas-themed occasion while the basil, tomato and garlic flavours always taste great at the height of summer. Hmm, these would even work for children’s birthday parties—our toddler thought that he was eating pizza!
If you have a hand blender, you’ll find it extremely easy to clean up afterwards (which is always a plus in my books). I made them in the toaster oven while the oven was occupied with the rest of our dinner. This was a low-fuss, low-stress appetizer to make while scrambling around the kitchen preparing other dishes. I set the timer on the toaster oven for 7 minutes so that I didn’t forget about them and a tell-tale smoke detector alarm would not announce the demise of my appetizer dish.
Ding went the timer and, voila, they looked great: the tomatoes had softened and the cheese was just starting to melt. It was exciting to drizzle the remaining basil sauce over the slices while my nostrils were filled with the aroma of basil and garlic. Thankfully, my serving platter did not fit all the slices so I was able to taste one hastily in the kitchen before bringing them out before the meal. I had to make sure that they were worthy of serving to my family and guests, didn’t I? Plus, I was absolutely starving and I can always blame my frequent snacking on being pregnant.
The quick Caprese-style toasts are not only simple to make and pleasing to the eye, but also taste absolutely amazing. My husband said that he would order them at a restaurant. It wasn’t too hard to tell that he truly loved it: 1. He praised it after the very first bite. 2. He mentioned how much he was enjoying it between mouthfuls. 3. At the end of dinner he was still raving about the appetizer, prefacing it with, “Honey, everything was good but those Caprese toasts were fantastic.” Yes, I should probably make these for Valentine’s Day.