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Random Tue Dec 18 2007
I first saw this creation on an episode of the Barefoot Contessa. A friend of Ina Garten's assembled it for a cocktail party at the summer opening of an art show, but I was immediately struck by how perfect such a centerpiece would be for a holiday party. You'll need a styrofoam tree form (which can be obtained at any craft or floral store), toothpicks, basil leaves, cherry tomatoes and bocconcini, or small balls of fresh mozzarella. The amount you'll need depends on the size of the tree form, but I recommend buying 2 pints of cherry tomatoes and 2 pint-size tubs of bocconcini for a 9-inch tree. You can use as much basil as you like, either tucking the leaves in at the base to line the plate or sticking them in between the balls of cheese and tomatoes for decoration.