Summer on a stick! Learn how to make this healthy appetiser idea, inspired by the classic Italian Caprese Salad, with step-by-step photos and kitchen tips. A delicious and fresh way to celebrate some of Summer's greatest produce...juicy tomatoes and aromatic basil.
Are you on the hunt for a nutritious appetiser to woo guests at your next summer hang out? These caprese salad skewers are a shoo-in.
They’re quick to assemble (a mere ten minutes!), wildly easy to make and quite the visual showstopper.
They’re inspired by the Italian antipasto (starter) Caprese salad, which features fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil leaves seasoned with olive oil, aka liquid gold, and salt. It’s a rocking combination that extends well to pizza, pasta or…bite-sized skewers!
To make these healthy caprese salad skewers, you’ll need:
Cherry tomatoes. A type of small, round tomato. For the best flavour, look for fruit that’s deep red, slightly shiny and tender.
Bocconcini. Aka mozzarella balls or pearls. These are little balls of cheese reminiscent in shape of cherry tomatoes.
Sweet fresh basil. A summer-loving herb with a fragrant aroma and subtle peppery-minty flavour. Look for basil that’s bright green and not limp.
Extra virgin olive oil. A Caprese salad classic. EVOO is a super nutritious type of olive oil made by pressing whole olives without heat or chemicals.
Balsamic glaze. A thick, sweet, syrupy glaze made of reduced balsamic vinegar. This doesn’t feature in traditional Caprese salad, BUT when in skewer form it really oomphs the flavours.
Flakey sea salt. Sprinkle salt overtop last, just when you’re about to serve, where it’ll cling to the olive oil and balsamic glaze. Go for flakey sea salt if available, for its wee crunch and burst of flavour.
Like any good Caprese salad, your mouthful is only as good as the quality of ingredients. Here, celebrate seasonal produce, if you can. You can’t beat the freshness and flavour.
Step-By-Step: Caprese Skewers
Use iddy biddy skewers. Cocktail sticks are ideal size-wise. The ones featured were made of bamboo.
Aim for tomatoes and the mozzarella balls to be similiar sized. For both aesthetic and eating ease purposes!
Season each skewer individually with salt. Salt is a must. If anything was to let these skewers down, it’s being under-seasoned.
Serving & Storage
Ideally, make these skewers not long before you intend to serve them. If prepping in advance, store in an airtight container in the fridge, withholding the seasoning until feasting time.
You can easily double or triple the recipe to suit the number of mouths you have to feed. I aim for 4 skewers per person when catering as a starter (the below base recipe will feed four mouths).
What is extra virgin olive oil and why is it considered healthy? Olive oil is a type of oil extracted from olives. There are various grades, based on how processed the oil is, which impacts taste and nutritional profile.
Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed of the bunch, and often considered the healthiest too. It’s extracted using natural methods, and checked for purity and its unique sensory elements, like flavour and aroma.
On the nutriton front, EVOO is rich in antioxidants, which have been associated with an array of potential health benefits that may help reduce chronic disease risk (1). It’s also loaded with monounsaturated fats, a type of fat that has been linked to heart health benefits (2).
16fresh bocconcini*(small balls of mozzarella cheese)
Extra-virgin olive oil,to lightly drizzle
Balsamic glaze,to drizzle
Sea salt flakes
Prep ingredients. Wash and dry tomatoes. Drain bocconici balls from water or salted brine – aim for the cheese balls to be the same size as your tomatoes, if not, simply slice to the right size. Pluck basil leaves off the plant stem.
Thread the tomatoes onto the skewers, followed by the basil leaves and then the bocconcini. To thread the basil, I weave the leaf onto the stick two or three times, back and fourth on itself.
Add the (nearly finished) skewers to a serving plate. When it comes to serving, drizzle lightly with EVOO. Oil can come out fast and thick, so do this slowly (I like to cover the pouring spout with the thumb to control how quick it flows out). Follow with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (best squeezed out of a squeezy bottle), and finally finished with a sprinkle of flakey sea salt. Make sure to sprinkle each skewer individually with salt.