Last weekend my mom and I threw a surprise birthday party for her fiancé. I don’t want to get into too many personal details, but suffice it to say that he was VERY surprised to walk into his own kitchen after a day at the golf course to find 20+ of his closest friends and family ready to party!
My mom and I had a blast planning the menu and secretly hiding the food in the days before the party. By the morning of the party my mom had managed to successfully conceal 2 dozen brining chicken breasts, impressive amounts of peppers, onions and potatoes, and all of the dips, dressings, and glazes in the refrigerator behind little walls of soda and beer cans and a few strategically placed bags of salad greens… good job, Mom!
One of my culinary contributions to the party was a platter of single-serving Caprese Skewers. Combining each bite of cherry tomato and mozzarella onto skewers allowed our guests to snack on the caprese with just one hand (leaving the other free for a beverage!) which made this a great appetizer for a party. It’s also an easy dish to make for a party because you can assemble the skewers several hours ahead of time and then simply garnish with some fresh basil right before serving.
Bite-Sized Caprese Skewers with Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil & Balsamic Glaze
You will need…
2-3 small handfuls Arugula
25-30 Marinated Mozzarella Balls, approx. 1″ in diameter
2 pints Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half and kept “paired” with their halves
Toothpicks; can use the slightly longer “sandwich picks” for a little extra space
6-8 extra Cherry Tomatoes, cut into quarters
Balsamic Glaze (use a bottled glaze or make your own balsamic reduction)
10-15 Basil Leaves
Arrange the arugula along the center of a serving tray. Slice each mozzarella ball into 4 pieces by slicing off the rounded ends (2 pieces) and cutting the center of the ball in half (2 pieces). Set the small rounded ends aside.
Skewer the top of a tomato half with the toothpick and slide the tomato onto the stick. Next, slide one of the center mozzarella pieces onto the toothpick. Skewer the bottom half of the tomato and slide it into place on the toothpick as shown in the photo. Repeat with all of your halved tomatoes and mozzarella, arranging the skewers onto the arugula as you go.
Sprinkle the rounded mozzarella ball ends and the quartered tomatoes onto the arugula as a garnish. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the entire tray. If needed, you can refrigerate the tray until party time at this point (that’s what we did!). Before serving, roll up the basil leaves and use kitchen scissors to cut them into long slices. Arrange the basil slices over the caprese skewers. (The basil isn’t shown in my photos since I took them a few hours before the party started.)