This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins. Have you tried their delicious Artisan Nut-Thins?
Thanks to my new television addiction to the show Extra Virgin, all I want to do is eat Italian food. I even have come up with an appetizer based on the flavors of the traditional caprese salad. If you are not familiar with caprese salad, it is a basic salad made with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. In essence, the salad is a reflection of the Italian flag.
The dip is really easy to make and may remind you a bit of pizza. To make it, start by draining a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes that are seasoned with basil. If it has garlic and oregano in it, that is fine. Just make sure that you drain the tomatoes well.
Next, combine a block of cream cheese that has been softened with about 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Fold in the tomatoes and spoon the mixture into a small pan. (I used a little cast iron skillet.)
Top it all off with an additional cup of mozzarella cheese and bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. To get the top golden, broil the cheesy dip for another couple of minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it so that it does not burn. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Garnish with fresh basil that has been torn into pieces.
The dip is rich and creamy and it would be great on some thinly sliced rounds of Italian or French bread, but I want to keep the appetizer dish gluten-free, so I serve it with Blue Diamond Artisan Nut-Thins.
These tasty crackers are absolutely delicious on their own.
The crackers are sturdy enough to stand up to the rich, thick layer of mozzarella cheese that tops the dip. (If you don’t want a thick layer of cheese, then just mix the entire 2 cups of mozzarella in with the cream cheese before spooning into your dish.) Hot Caprese Dip is easy to make and will make your guests happy. Just don’t forget to serve it with Blue Diamond Artisan Nut-Thins.
Hot Caprese Dip (Click here for a printable version.)
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, separated
- fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drain tomatoes.
- Combine softened cream cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella. Fold in tomatoes.
- Pour into small oven-proof dish or small cast iron skillet that has been prepared with non-stick spray.
- Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for approximately 12 minutes.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until top becomes light golden brown.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes