Dish: Caprese Salad Skewers
Makes: 12 skewers
Good For: Summer party appetizer, potlucks, lazy afternoons
Shopping list: 1 package bocconcini (mini balls of fresh mozzarella, about 1 inch in diameter — $4.99); 1 bunch basil ($2); 5 oz. cherry tomatoes (about half of a package — $1.99)
Pantry items: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper
Total cost: $8.98
Quick, colorful, inexpensive and super delicious, these caprese salad skewers are exactly what you need to bring to your next potluck dinner, put out as appetizers for a barbeque, and/or shove into your mouth this very instant. The fresh herbs and creamy cheese come together with the pop of each juicy tomato into what can only be described as summer-tasting. Feel like mixing it up? Add cubed and olive oiled pieces of ciabatta bread into the mix and grill each skewer for a minute per side on the barbeque, or until cheese is melty and bread is toasted. Yours truly has no barbeque to speak of (giant, huge, gaping hole in my apartment/heart), but in today’s 80 degree Chicagoland heat, nothing could have been better than pulling these babies straight from the fridge. For less than $10, make these today. Your roommates will thank you. Mine did.
Kendra Vaculin is a junior at Northwestern University triple majoring in theatre, creative writing, and making entire meals from the Whole Foods bulk bins/$4 cheese basket. She maintains the blog North South East Dressed and is pretty sure she accidentally got a high-waisted jean shorts tan line today.
Caprese Salad Skewers
I bought bocconcini, tiny balls of fresh mozzarella sold in water, because they are cute and their size and shape lends well to skew-age. You could definitely also buy larger portions of fresh mozzarella and cut them to about 1 inch squares.
24 small balls (or cubes!) of fresh mozzarella, about 1 inch in diameter
1 bunch of fresh basil
5 ounces cherry tomatoes
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Freshly ground pepper
Slide 2 pieces of cheese, some basil leaves, and two tomatoes onto each skewer (I did cheese, basil, tomato, basil, cheese, tomato…but that’s because I wanted it to be pretty). You can find bamboo skewers with the grilling paraphernalia in your grocery store; be sure to soak the skewers in water first if you are choosing to grill with them to ensure that they don’t catch fire.
Arrange skewers on a plate and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Either serve immediately or return plate to fridge to chill before serving.