A hungry girl's adventures in Cleveland and beyond.

Guest Post: Meet The Mexitalian - Burst Tomato Caprese Dip

I'd like to introduce you to one of my very favorite bloggers, Alyssa from The Mexitalian. Alyssa is originally from Michigan and came to CLE via Charlotte, NC. She shares original recipes, recaps her travels, and talks about all things food on her blog. Follow her this summer as she heads to northern Michigan, Fairfield County, Ohio and even Portugal! She's also a huge fan of fresh local and seasonal produce and is obsessed with her CSA, City Fresh NEO.

Hello Eat Drink Clevelanders,

I’m Alyssa, The Mexitalian, and I am so thrilled to be chatting with you on my friend Crystal’s blog today. Crystal was one of the first people I connected with before I even moved to Cleveland last summer. I had a feeling a fellow Italian girl with a passion for food and all things local would be amazing and we’ve been friends ever since we met!

While I’m here, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite quick and easy summer appetizers. This Burst Tomato Caprese Dip is super simple yet completely impressive.

I cooked the heirloom cherry tomatoes on the stove top until they burst – I am not about the oven life in the summer! Extra points if you have local and seasonal cherry tomatoes. Since some of my tomatoes were on the larger side, I cut them in half, the different sizes work well in the dip.

The sweet and juicy burst tomatoes are tossed with Ciliegine, cherry-sized fresh mozzarella balls, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and fresh ribbons of basil.
I love this spin on traditional caprese salad served with crackers, slices of crusty bread, or even as a side to grilled chicken.
The salad will stay well in a sealed container in the fridge for two or three days, if it can last that long at your house.

Burst Tomato Caprese Dip

16 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes (I used heirloom and cut the larger ones in half
8 oz. Ciliegine fresh mozzarella balls, drained
2 T + ½ t extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
1/8 t fresh ground black pepper
Pinch of salt, to taste

Heat ½ t olive oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they get soft and start to burst, about 7-10 minutes. Do not allow the tomatoes to break down completely, they should have some bite and many will retain their shape. Allow the tomatoes to cool completely.

Toss the cooked burst tomatoes with the mozzarella, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Serve immediately or store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

Doesn't that sound delicious? Give me a loaf of crusty bread and some wine and it's a perfect summer dinner. 

For a tasty sipper to help you beat the heat - try The Mexitalian's Grapefruit Cilantro Spritz.

Many thanks to The Mexitalian for sharing her summery recipe! Besides reading her blog, you can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook for more delicious recipes. If you try one, (and you should!) tag #Mexitalianrecipes when you share a photo of your dish.