Saturday, July 21, 2012

Recipe: Summer on a Stick

The flavors of a caprese salad are heavenly - fresh basil, fresh tomato and mozzarella.  To me, this flavor combination says summer!  There are so many fun ways of using these three ingredients: in pasta, combined as their own salad, or even on a pizza. Add a little summer sausage or salami, and you've got a real winner.  This makes a nice appetizer for a dinner al fresco, or a cute dish to take to a barbeque or outdoor picnic.  I've been known to skip the skewers and eat it as a light lunch.

Here's how you make it.  Its so simple, I feel wrong calling this a 'recipe.' 

Basic ingredients - determine how many skewers you'll be making and go from there:
   A chunk of mozzarella cheese
   Fresh cherry or grape sized tomatoes
   Summer sausage stick
   Several basil leaves
   Balsamic vinegar for drizzling

Cube your mozzarella cheese and the summer sausage into bite sized cubes, wash those tomatoes and rip off some basil leaves.

Optional step:  At this point, any furry friend in the house may be hovering around, hoping you'll drop some of that yummy sausage or cheese on the floor.  It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to share.  Not surprisingly, I caved.

Spike a sausage cube onto the skewer, then add mozzarella cube, a basil leaf (or suitably sized portion of a leaf), and finally a tomato.

Aren't they pretty?  If you use shorter skewers, you can reverse the order of ingredients and stand them up using the sausage cube as a base.  These are cute for entertaining.

For added flavor, you can drizzle balsamic vinegar over it all, but I skipped that step this time.  You can also skip the skewers altogether and toss the ingredients for more of a salad.  I make the pieces smaller when I do this, so you can get more than one ingedient in a bite.

The basil, tomato and cheese are always a crowd-pleasing flavor combination, and for the meat eaters a little summer sausage or salami adds that extra something.  Let me know if you try this - I'd love to hear how you like it!

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