The sweet and juicy taste of tomatoes goes well with the cleansing aroma of basil, and neutral taste of mozzarella. The combination of these ingredients is not just for pizza or pasta, for it can make a great appetizer too especially when followed by some Mediterranean dish as main course.
Here, we are going to use bocconcini. It’s a type of mozzarella, only smaller balls than usual. Bocconcini means “mouthful” in Italian. If there’s none available in the market, you can use the regular mozzarella. Just cut the whole cheese into ¾ inch cubes for this recipe.
Basil Marinated Mozzarella and Cherry Tomato Skewers
· 1 red pepper, quartered and seeded
· 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
· 1 tbsp lemon juice
· 2 tbsp olive oil
· ½ tsp salt
· 1 tsp cracked black pepper
· 20 bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls)
· ¼ cup finely chopped basil
· 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
· 20 large basil leaves
· 20 6-inch wooden skewers
1. Grill and peel pepper quarters. Cut pepper quarters into very fine dice.
2. Combine pepper dice, garlic, lemon, oil salt and cracked pepper in a nonmetallic bowl.
3. Add bocconcini and toss to coat each piece well. Cover and marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
4. Sprinkle basil over and toss to coat each bocconcini well.
5. Thread 1 cherry tomato half and 1 bocconcini on to each skewer.
6. Wrap each remaining cherry tomato half in 1 basil leaf and add 1 to each skewer.
7. Served chilled or at room temperature.
Chef’s tip: marinate bocconcini up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Assemble skewers up to 4 hours in advance. Cover and chill.