JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Rebecca Turner recently stopped by the Today at 11 set to share some unique ways to work some healthy doses of cheese into your appetizer game. Turner is a registered dietitian and participates regularly Today at 11 to share recipes and teach the team how to eat healthy AND delicious.
Turner says Mississippi is home to about 7,000 dairy cows and 50 dairy farming families, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of those local flavors. She says that one of the tastiest products that comes from milk is cheese! But, according to Turner, there’s a lot more cheese than on burgers and pizzas.
Turner encourages you to give these light, summery, inexpensive recipes a try! She says they’re perfect for poolside or taking to a backyard BBQ.
Source: Rebecca Egsieker, The Dairy Chef
Description: This easy appetizer recipe has all the flavor of a classic caprese salad, but topped with toasted, bite-sized bread.
- 24 (1⁄2-inch thick) slices of ciabatta baguette
- 1 cup red grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 cup yellow grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for coating slices of bread
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup small mozzarella balls Ciliegine
- 16 fresh basil leaves
- Place the ciabatta slices on the baking sheet, brush with olive oil and bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool.
- Combine quartered tomatoes, salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic powder and vinegar in mixing bowl. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
- Cut each mozzarella ball into four slices and set aside.
- To assemble, place slices of toasted bread on a serving platter, then place three to four slices of mozzarella on each crostini. Sprinkle with a spoonful of the tomato mixture and spread over the crostini if necessary. Stack basil leaves on top of each other and then roll up tightly. Carefully cut the basil into thin slices and make long thin strips. Sprinkle the prepared crostini on top. Serve immediately at room temperature.
Peachy Gouda and Ham Skewers
Description: This easy no-cook appetizer features fresh Georgia peaches, Virginia ham, and slices of soft Gouda cheese. You can replace the Gouda with semi-soft or hard cheese with a mild taste, such as Edam, Havarti or mozzarella, and if fresh peaches are not in season, you can use prunes, apricots or pickled peaches. The balsamic vinegar adds a rich, tangy flavor to the peaches and cheese, but the skewers are great with or without the drizzle.
- 4 medium peaches, sliced
- 12 thin slices of Virginia deli ham
- 1 (7-ounce) round Gouda cheese
- 48 fresh basil leaves
- 24 (4-inch) wooden skewers
- 1/4 cup balsamic glaze optional
- Cut ham slices into 24 (1-inch wide) strips about 5 inches long.
- Remove the paraffin layer from the cheese and cut the cheese into 12 wedges.
- Thread a peach slice, basil leaf, ham slice, cheese wedge, second basil leaf, second ham slice, and second peach slice onto each skewer. Repeat with the remaining skewers. Drizzle with balsamic glaze just before serving, if desired.
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