Hey! Have I got the perfect bite of summer for you! I made these skewers for my friend Jenn’s bridal shower. I was struggling to come up with a salad-ish thing that would go well with the brunch menu I was planning, so I was standing in my kitchen spinning in circles as I normally do when looking for inspiration and glanced outside at my overgrown basil plant and my just turning cherry tomatoes and *bing!* I had it!
But since it was for a bridal shower I wanted to make it special. Enter black pepper balsamic drizzle. Yowza. Talk about special! You reduce the balsamic vinegar with whole black peppercorns so you don’t get tons of heat in the finished product, but just enough to tone down the sweetness of the reduced balsamic.
Reduce the vinegar by half and you end up with a thick drizzle, almost like a syrupy texture. You just might be tempted to lick it off the spoon. And let me tell you you won’t be disappointed if you do! Just let it cool first!
Simple recipes like this are the best. Just make sure you get the best ingredients you can. When there are only a few simple parts to a dish the tomatoes have to be sweet and juicy or the whole thing falls apart. I used fresh mozzarella (the kind that comes stored in liquid and also melts in your mouth) which I suggest over the harder block version <—-perfect for pizza!
I have to say these were a hit at the shower! It is a fun way to present a salad and the balsamic reduction adds so much depth to the dish. It really did make it special. Although I guess that could have been the blushing bride and the pitchers of sangria! I’ll say it was both
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 bunch basil leaves
- 8-10 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- kosher salt
- 10 skewers
- In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar and peppercorns
- Bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium heat
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 7-12 minutes
- Move to a heat safe container and let cool (can be made the night before)
- Skewer tomates, basil, and mozzarella in whatever pattern you like!
- Right before serving drizzle on balsamic vinegar reduction and sprinkle with kosher salt