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Chablis-kissed appetizers

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Elegant bites & Chablis

A bright white wine from its namesake northernmost wine region of Burgundy, France, Chablis wines are made from 100 percent Chardonnay grapes. Characterized by a greenish-yellow color and star bright clarity, Chablis wines often have a flinty or steely character, green apple-like acidity, and tend to mellow with age. Chablis wines pair extraordinarly well with seafood as well as tomatoes and mild cheese, as you'll see in the following four fabulous Chablis-kissed appetizer recipes.

Elegant bites & ChablisCappuccino of Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Serves 2

A delectable starter with a mouthwatering myriad of tastes and textures, this unusual "cappuccino" makes an unforgettable impression on the palate. A flavorful tomato puree is topped off with a luscious mozzarella froth and served with ciabatta and Parmesan toasts. The crispy aspect of this appetizer contrasts nicely with the soft mellow sip of Chablis.

2 small ciabatta rolls, cut into thin slices
4 ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled
1 garlic clove
Pinch of salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 small ball of buffalo mozzarella, diced
1 glass of milk or light cream
Lemon zest
2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Fresh basil leaves

Recommended pairing: Chablis Premier Cru Montée de Tonnerre 2007

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly toast the ciabatta bread and set aside. Don't turn oven off.

2. In a food processor of blender, puree tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Pour the tomato purée into two wide clear glasses.

3. In a food processor or blender, blend mozzarella with the milk or cream. If you can't get enough froth, transfer to a bowl and whisk it a bit. Add the lemon zest.

4. Drop two separate tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on a nonstick baking tray. Place in the oven and cook until cheese melts and starts to brown just a bit (this will happen fast so keep an eye on them). Quickly remove tray from the oven and set aside.

5. To serve, plunge a few ciabatta slices into the tomato puree, cover with mozzarella froth. Garnish with Parmesan wafer and basil. Serve immediately.

(Make your own mozzarella cheese)

Next page: Mussels with Chablis

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