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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Caprese Skewers

Insalata Caprese is my favorite Italian dish. The most basic iteration is buffalo mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes, and basil leaves sprinkled in salt and olive oil. My favorite variation is the caprese with balsamic vinegar. As a kid, I was nuts for the stuff and time has done nothing to curb my enthusiasm for it. I am dangerous around a dish of balsamic and some nice bread for dipping.

Recently on Pinterest, I've been seeing caprese redone as a finger food, by using whole cherry tomatoes and ciliegine mozzarella (smaller than bocconcini) threaded on skewers with basil. Needless to say, I had to try this recipe the next time I threw a party.

I could chug this stuff
Most variations of the caprese skewers seem to forgo the balsamic vinegar, probably because for finger food it is messy and has the potential to stain things if it drips. Despite this, I will not forgo balsamic vinegar. My solution? A balsamic reduction or glaze that is thicker and more concentrated so it's less likely to drip.

You can make your own reduction, or cheat like I did and purchase it ready-made. I even went so far as to get mozzarella that was already marinated, but you can also marinate your own if you can't find them already in olive oil. You may think I'm lazy (that would be a totally sound assumption, by the way) but I like to have party bites that are fast and easy to make so I can focus on the main dishes, or just having fun. This is a ridiculously easy recipe.