My husband and I adore Italian food…and Caprese Salad is no exception. My friend Allyson originally made Caprese Skewers for a party a couple of years ago and we were hooked. It’s the perfect party appetizer. It’s easy to serve and eat. I just love the colors: the bright red grape tomatoes, earthy green basil and the contrast against the ciliegine mozzarella cheese. The flavors are fresh and the red chili pepper flakes adds just a slight kick to the skewers while the balsamic vinegar reduction adds a layer of sweetness. This is our version of Caprese Skewers…we hope you enjoy it and serve it at your next gathering. We served this at my recent birthday party and it was the first dish that we ran out of.
Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
2 C grape tomatoes
16 oz Ciliegine mozzarella cheese (in light salt water), drained
¼ C olive oil
1 tsp (scant) red pepper flakes, add more or less to suit your taste
½ tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste (about 12-15 grinds)
½ C balsamic vinegar
2 tbs butter
Place tomatoes and drained mozzarella into a bowl or Tupperware container.
Whisk together olive oil, red pepper flakes (gently crush in your hands to release flavors), salt and pepper. Pour mixture over tomatoes and mozzarella, gently combine.
Place in fridge while you prepared balsamic reduction.
Pour balsamic vinegar into a small pot, add butter and simmer on med-low heat until it’s reduced by half. Stir constantly and do not let it come to a roaring boil. The reduction should be thicker and slightly sweet. (Now if you don’t have time to deal with a reduction -you can easily drizzle a little balsamic vinegar into the olive oil mixture and let the tomatoes and mozzarella marinade in it)
Skewer the tomatoes and mozzarella. There’s no particular way or right or wrong way to do this: I did tomato, cheese, basil, tomato, cheese. In the past, I’ve done: tomato, basil, cheese, tomato, basil, cheese. That’s the fun part of cooking – you can adjust to your own taste. How much basil you use is up to you. If the leaf is big I just fold the leaf in half or tear it in half and skewer it. If the leaf is small I use two leaves.
Place skewers on plate and drizzle the balsamic reduction over the skewers, using as little or much as you want.
You can now serve the skewers or make the day of and take out of fridge at least 30 mins before serving