Here’s a last minute appetizer that’s perfect for your Labor Day barbeque or football tailgate party. I love Caprese Salad so these little bites are a perfect snack. These are fresh, light, easy, healthy and delicious. Not to mention that the flavors compliment each other perfectly. You can add variations to this recipe based on your favorite Caprese salad ingredients. I included Kalamata olives on some of my skewers for an extra twist! So until next year, Goodbye summer!
- 2 boxes cherry tomatoes (red or yellow)
- 12 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), about 8 ounces
- 1 bunch basil
- salt (coarse ground or Kosher)
- black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- oregano (use fresh if you have it, if not dry works well)
- Kalamata olives, pitted (optional)
- long pointed wooden skewers
1. Prepare ingredients. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and cut mozzarella balls in half.
2. Skewer alternating tomato halves, mozzarella, basil leaves and kalamata olives (if using). Repeat with the remaining cheese and tomatoes.
3. Arrange on platter and drizzle balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, coarse salt, coarse ground black pepper, and oregano over skewers.
4. Feel free to be creative with the placement and amount of tomatoes or mozzarella based on your preferences.
Adapted from a version by chef Gavin Kaysen, Emily says that she made this salad for her friend Linda Lou, who is Greek and is notorious for stealing olives out of unsuspecting martinis. “She loved it, so I consider it to have the official Greek stamp of approval.”
- 2 cups feta cheese
- 2-3 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, cut in quarters or wedges
- 2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4 red onion, sliced as thinly as possible
- Sea salt and pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh chopped oregano
Put the feta in a bowl and add a little bit of cream at a time, whisking with a fork, until the cheese becomes creamy and smooth. Spread ¼ of the cheese onto the center of plate. Top with ¼ of the tomatoes, onions, and olives and season a bit with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with the chopped oregano. Repeat on 4 more plates and serve.
For the Salad:
Red onion, thinly sliced
Cucumber, sliced and seeded
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
For the Lemon Garlic Dressing:
6 Tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1. For the salad: Wash lettuce,tomatoes and cucumber well (make sure you spin-dry the lettuce when finished). Peel and slice 1/2 of a cucumber, set aside. In a bowl combine and toss all the veggies; set aside
2. For the dressing: Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar together. Then add the minced garlic and oregano. Once the mixture is fully incorporated, add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well again, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
3. Toss salad with prepared dressing and garnish with fresh feta cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
*CHEF’S TIP – If you are not the proud owner of a salad spinner place freshly washed lettuce in a clean towel. Spin towel around in a circular motion for about a minute or so. Viola! Instant spin-dried lettuce.