Deconstructed Capresi Salad

These little jewels are fast and easy and are a hit with guests at a cocktail party.  They are also great in the summer because they are light and fresh.


Cherry tomatoes

Mozzarella sticks or string cheese

Balsamic pearls (technique below)

Agar Agar

Olive oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Basil Pesto


Balsamic Pearls:

Place the oil in a tall (at least 8-10”) container and “freeze” for at least 1 hour

Combine 2g of Agar Agar with 3/4 Cup balsamic vinegar in a pot and bring to a boil

Remove the oil from the freezer and using a dropper or pipette, drop the balsamic mixture slowly into the cold olive oil.

The drops will solidify into beautiful balsamic pearls as they cool while passing through the cold olive oil.

Remove the pearls you need as you use them using a sieve or perforated spoon.


Slice the top and bottom off of each tomato to provide a stable base as well as an area for topping.

Slice the cheese stick crosswise into about 1/8-1/4” thick discs.  Place a disc on each of the tomatoes.

Place a dollop of pesto on each cheese disc and top each one with a few balsamic pearls.

Post Mortem:

I love these little jewels.  Once you have the balsamic pearls, you can whip some up in a few minutes as long as you have the ingredients on hand.

You can refrigerate the balsamic pearls in the olive oil for use up to about a year in the olive oil.  You can use these wherever you would use balsamic vinegar … salads, vegetables, ice cream.

If you want less oil, rinse the pearls gently in cool/cold water and drain before use.

Agar Agar is unique in that it dissolves in boiling water and then solidifies and may be kept at room temperature.  The degree of solidification depends on the concentration of agar used.  It remains solid at a higher temperature than gelatin.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Nice recipe


  2. Interesting technique with the balsamic – very nice indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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