I couldn’t wait to post this Tomato & Creamy Cheese Appetizer recipe because it is one of my all-time favorites and I have been making it routinely since the early years of my marriage. It is one I make every summer when the tomatoes are ripe and delicious, the basil is growing robustly in my garden, and the outdoor gatherings are plentiful.
I still remember fondly the days when our young neighborhood was filled with loads of little ones and on warm evenings families would gather in our front yards at the end of a work day. I would often serve this fresh tomato appetizer with a glass of cool crisp wine to the parents as we watched our children play and enjoyed the summer season.
The creaminess from the base of cheese topped with fresh tomatoes, crisp red onion and herb flavors from the pesto are an amazing combination. Finish it off with crunchy Italian flavors from Umbria nut & spice mix and you’ll find you have an appetizer difficult to step away from.
- Umbria nut & spice mix
- mascarpone cheese, 8 oz.
- fresh mozzarella cheese, 1 ½ cup, shredded
- roma tomatoes, 2 (about 1 cup), chopped
- red onion, ½ cup, chopped
- fresh basil pesto, 6 oz. (homemade or store bought)
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Carr’s Crackers or a simple, crisp cracker
- Chop tomatoes and set aside. Chop onion and set aside.
- Allow the mozzarella and mascarpone cheeses to come to room temperature. In a bowl, mix the two cheeses together with a spoon. Although it is messy, I often use my hands to meld these two cheeses and mix them thoroughly.
- Using a small, shallow bowl/serving plate with about a 2 inch side (see photo), press the cheese mixture into the bottom of the plate and spread evenly across the bottom.
- Top with a layer of pesto. Next layer the fresh tomato, then the onion and finally sprinkle with a generous amount of Umbria nut & spice mix. Top with fresh oregano, basil or any other herb you have on hand.
- Serve with crackers.
This recipe is great for outdoor gatherings in the spring or summer using freshly harvested ingredients.
Would also be great with Mumbai, Cairo or San Miguel blends.