I used to get sweaty when deciding what to bring as a side dish to a potluck – I hate to be the jerk who brings food with ingredients that mean someone at the table will have to miss out but I also don’t want to be the person who brings the second or third veggie platter. Luckily for me and those in my social circle, fresh cheese is often the best way to a friend’s heart! (Sorry, my dear vegan friends. For you, I promise to bring a big batch of my mango salsa!)
When I was invited to a backyard BBQ bash this weekend, I thought a tomato and bocconcini salad would be a nice and light accompaniment. Then again, with so many people likely to bring delicious side salads, maybe a finger food would be better… so caprese skewers it is!
Today I used Alberta-grown Cucumber Man grape tomatoes, Tre Stelle “mini mini bocconcini” (though you’re welcome to cube up a larger piece) and fresh basil from my patio herb garden!
This batch took me about 30 minutes to make, including skewering all the tiny tomatoes and cheese balls. It’s good for finger food to serve a larger crowd or, if left in the bowl, makes a good portion of side salad for about 6 people.
Mini Caprese Skewers
- 2 packets (approx. 4 cups) of cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed
- 400g bocconcini, drained and in approximately 5g pieces
- ¾ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- fresh basil, minced, to taste (I use 3-4 heads of young leaves)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- approximately 40 toothpicks
- salt and pepper to taste
- Press the garlic, then stir it in a small bowl with the olive oil and black pepper to taste. Mix well until the garlic is well-incorporated into the oil.
- Pour the rinsed tomatoes and drained cheese balls (or cubes) into a large mixing bowl. Using the cute, smaller bowl you plan on serving them in will result in heartache and oily tomatoes flying all over the counter.
- Pour the garlic and oil mixture over the tomatoes and cheese, gently folding it all together. As you are folding, sprinkle over the minced basil until all ingredients are well-incorporated. If you’d like to add salt, sprinkle it on lightly while you finish folding in the basil.
- Re-wash your hands thoroughly before man-handling the food, then get down to skewering! I gently pierce a tomato first, then a bocconcini, leaving room for a person to hold it easily at one end while biting from the other. I suggest leaving a bit of toothpick exposed at the eating end as well. (Safety first!)
- If you care about your friends as much as I do, hide a few cheese-only skewers in the pile to make someone’s day.
- Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. I’ve layered today’s batch in a casserole dish since they’ll be coming on the road to my friend’s house!
Want to see photos that didn’t make the cut for the blog? Any ideas for go-to finger foods? Come share photos of your favourite party snacks on my Pepo channel, Calgary Foodies!
For more of my recipes, check out Hungry at Home!