Heart Caprese Salad & Strawberry Bruschetta

Easy Appetizers for Valentine's Day Dinner

Balsamic Vinegar.

It deserves it’s own sentence in this post.

This ingredient sparked my imagination and confidence in the kitchen as a newly wed. Up to that point I had successfully prepared mediocre boxes of Rice A Roni.

Balsamic vinegar is sweet, tangy, and pairs well with a million things. I haven’t quite made a million meals with it – but I’m quite certain that it’s deliciousness has no end. Try these two recipes for your sweetheart or your sweet kids.

Let’s start with the balsamic reduction you’ll need for both recipes.


Put one cup of balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Bring the vinegar up to a low boil for about 10 minutes. It will reduce to 1/2 cup. Don’t panic that it looks tiny now. It will taste better than awesome sauce.

Heart Caprese Salad

Allow the reduced balsamic vinegar to cool. While it cools, arrange fresh basil, heart-shaped mozzarella, and tomatoes on a plate. (Mini chefs would really love this job. It can even double as a patterning exercise for preschoolers…Just Sayin’.) Drizzle a few tablespoons of vinegar over the top and dive in.

Heart Caprese Salad

Use the rest of your balsamic reduction in a new favorite at my house: Strawberry Bruschetta.

Strawberry Bruschetta

I love this stuff. It’s even better paired with goat cheese. I recommend making these for your sweetheart after the kids are passed out from a dramatic reading of Grapes of Wrath.

But it is a great way to introduce new flavors to your kidlets. So skip Grapes of Wrath for one night and indulge them in something extra tasty.

Or, just make it twice.

Strawberry Bruschetta

Cut up one cup of strawberries and combine it with two tablespoons of balsamic reduction and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Pair it with a teaspoon of goat cheese and chiffonade (fancy name for small ribbons) of fresh basil.

You can put it on top of a toasted piece of crusty bread or my favorite crisps from 34 Degrees. The ones pictured are Cracked Pepper flavor. Yum.

Strawberry Bruschetta

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Strawberry Bruschetta

The star appetizer of any function. Even if the function is a night in with the hubs.


  • 1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Strawberries, Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Basil, cut into small ribbons (chiffonade)
  • 2 Ounces Goat Cheese
  • Baguette, Crisps, or Crackers for serving


  • Pour balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan and heat on medium until it comes to a low boil. Allow it to cook down for about 10 minutes. Set a timer so you don't let it turn into burned balsamic taffy. Allow the vinegar to cool while you prep your strawberries and basil.
  • Combine the strawberries, 2 tablespoons of reduced vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl. Top your crisp with goat cheese and a few ribbons of fresh basil.
  • Use the remaining vinegar for a caprese salad, over chicken, or in a salad dressing.


Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Let’s make healthy normal!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I am compensated by 34 Degrees to crunch and create with their crisps.




2 Comment

  1. Prego and you are still whipping out an unbelievable number of posts, not to mention strawberry goodness? You are amazing, girl! And that brushetta looks DIVINE! 😉

    1. Alli says:

      Kim! I miss your face! I think Valentine’s Day just puts me in the mood to cook AND eat. I justify all the eating because of the blog 🙂

Comments are closed.