Event: Sunday Funday
Theme: Fresh Garden Harvest Recipes
Recipe: Caprese Skewers
Caprese Skewers make a fantastic, easy to make, healthy and super delicious starter or appetizer recipe. With syrupy balsamic vinegar drizzled over it, caprese skewers are simply irresistible.
They are so easy to put together. Just make sure you use fresh mozzarella for the best taste.
My first introduction to caprese was years ago in London. My son at that time was studying at McGill University, Montreal and we had deiced to meet up in London to visit my family. On the day he was suppose to fly back to Montreal, he was not allowed on the flight. Though he had a student permit, he still required visa to re-enter Canada. So next day at 6.30am we are standing in a queue to enter the Canadian High Commission in London. Waited and waited till 10a.m. when his turn came.
Luckily the visa was issued immediately. Then we decided to have lunch in the city before we headed back home. My son felt like pizza so we entered an Italian pizza place, now cannot remember the name! He ordered his pizza with prosciutto and mine was with caprese. Back then wasn’t too sure was caprese was, only thing that tempted me to order that pizza was the mention of mozzarella.
It was the yummiest pizza I had ever had and totally fell in love with caprese.
What Is Caprese?
Simply put it is an Italian Salad with fresh summery ingredients, tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil and fresh mozzarella. Add a bit of salt and pepper, and you have a refreshing filling summery salad ready in a jiffy.
Variations Of Caprese
These days there are so many ways caprese is used in recipes. During my trip to Italy, I enjoyed Caprese Sandwich when offered on the menu of cafes and restaurants we went to. Here in Magog, Au Fou du Roi bakery makes the best caprese sandwich. And with that comes a generous helping of fresh salad and a surprise treat. You only know what it is when you open the box. Sometimes it is mixed popcorn, crunchy veggie straws or sticks or chips.
Besides the normal tomato and mozzarella slices salad Caprese is served
- As a sandwich
- On skewers as an appetizer
- In pasta
- As a bruschetta topping
- With chicken as a main dish.
- As a pizza topping
- Add fresh fruits like strawberries, melon, blueberries, cherries to the basic caprese salad.
By the way, Sunday Funday is a group of Food Bloggers. Every Sunday we share some fun, traditional, hearty or easy recipes to make Sunday Family Meals a bit more exciting. To join this fun group, visit the Sunday Funday Facebook Page. Request to join in.
Theme: Fresh Garden Harvest Recipes
Renu who blogs at Cook With Renu, suggested the following, ” Any recipe which uses fresh garden harvest. You might not grow in your garden and create the recipe. It can be anything which people grow in a garden and might look for recipes”.
Interesting theme. If I were back in Mombasa, during this time my friend’s garden has an abundance of mangoes. Also during the short rains, herbs like basil, mint, coriander are in abundance.
Here in Canada, I don’t have a garden but the Farmers Market (Le Marché Public de Magog) was selling baby tomatoes, herbs, onion. And lots of plants and seedlings. Later on around Aug we will get lot more fresh produce like eggplants, ginger, chillis, radishes, etc. This market is every Sunday from 10a.m to 1p.m. Started on 22nd May and will be there every Sunday till 9th Oct.
I bought some fresh basil from the market. Decided to use basil in caprese skewers for this theme.
Some Garden Harvest Recipes On My Blog
Check Out Some Garden Harvest Recipes From Members Of Sunday Funday
- Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
- Blender Salsa from Palatable Pastime
- Sweet and Spicy Rhubarb Chutney from Cook with Renu
- Caprese Skewers from Mayuri’s Jikoni
- Fruit Salad with Rhubarb Syrup, Mint and Basil from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Baby Potatoes In Green Gravy With A Twist from Sneha’s Recipe
- Tomato, Garlic, and Basil Bruschetta from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Summer Squash Gratin from Food Lust People Love
Ingredients Required For Caprese Skewers
- Baby Tomatoes – any of your choice. Use only red ones or a mixture of red, yellow, black, orange.
- Fresh Mozzarella – I have used Bocconcini.
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Olive Oil
- Salt – use sea salt, rock salt or normal table salt. I have used Himalayan Pink Salt.
- Pepper Powder – freshly cracked or ground black pepper.
- Balsamic Glaze or Reduction – I used ready made which I had got as a present. To make it at home, it is very easy. Take good quality balsamic vinegar (Modena one is the best) and reduce it by allow it to simmer in a pan. Stir it frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If you wish you can add Sugar, brown sugar or honey when it is simmers to add a bit of flavour and quicken the reduction time. Usually for 1 cup vinegar you can add about ¼ cup sugar or honey or less. You know the balsamic glaze or reduction is ready when it coats the back of a spoon lightly.
Check Out The Short Video on How To Make Caprese Skewers
- 12 baby tomatoes
- 12 balls bocconcini/mozzarella fresh
- 12 big basil leaves fresh
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp balsamic reduction/glaze
- some salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- You need 12 skewers or cocktail sticks.
- Wash and wipe the tomatoes gently.
- First skewer the tomato.
- Fold the basil leaf and skewer it.
- Last skewer the mozzarella ball.
- Repeat the above steps with the remaining tomatoes, basil leaves and cheese.
- Arrange on a plate or tray.
- Drizzle olive oil and balsamic reduction over the caprese skewers.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper powder.
- Caprese Skewers are ready to be served.
- Add a strawberry, melon, peach piece to the skewer to make it a bit different.
- You can add two tomatoes if you want to.
- Don't omit the balsamic reduction, as it makes the salad taste so good.
- If you don't want to use balsamic reduction then drizzle some pesto over the skewers.
- Take 1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar (Modena one is the best) and reduce it by allow it to simmer in a pan for 10-15 minutes. Stir it frequently so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. If you wish you can add ¼ cup or less Sugar, brown sugar or honey when it is simmers to add a bit of flavour and quicken the reduction time. The reduction is ready when it coats the back of a spoon lightly.
- For the authentic traditional taste use fresh mozzarella and not the processed one.
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