Strawberry Caprese Skewers
don’t know where to start here besides just saying, woah… these skewers/thinga-kabobs are really just incredible. I can’t remember the last time something so simple tasted this good. You have probably have had a caprese salad at this point in your life. (caprese = tomato, mozzarella, basil, balsamic and/or olive oil) Well this is a whole different level of caprese; Caprese 2.0.
trawberries and balsamic vinegar are low-key best flavor friends. Perhaps seemingly strange, but the sweetness of the strawberries is perfectly complimented by the dark, acidic flavor of the balsamic. This combo has been popular in Italy for quite some time and has found much success abroad as well. These skewers combine strawberries and balsamic with the classic caprese idea for a new, delicious combo I am sure you will love.
he balsamic is reduced to a velvety syrup, super concentrated to be even more deep and sweet in taste. This reduction is drizzled over the colorful skewers just before serving and is the perfect finish to create a stunning dish both visually and in the flavor department.
Strawberries are obviously super nutritious, more here on that. But there is another component to these kabobs that may be overlooked for it’s nutritive value: mozzarella, that rich, creamy cheese that makes pizza and chicken parm irresistible. Cheese is often condemned because of it’s fat content, but it can absolutely have a place in a balanced diet especially because it is high in protein. Different kinds of cheese will contain varying amounts of fat and protein, but in general a 1 oz. serving of cheese (about 1 slice or 2 small-ish cubes) has about 8 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein. One ounce of mozzarella has about 5 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein.
Cheese, like other dairy products, is a great source of calcium. A 1 oz. serving of cheese supplies about 15-20% of daily calcium needs depending on your gender and age; young people and women generally need a little more calcium. This micronutrient is the most abundant mineral in the body and is essential for bone health. Calcium is also needed for proper muscle contraction, something athletes should definitely be aware of. A little cheese is an easy and delicious way to include a great source of protein and calcium in the diet.
This is not much of a recipe, but more of a guide to assembling these lovely skewers. I used 2 strawberries and 3 mozzarella balls per skewer here, but you can make them bigger or smaller as you like. For each of these kabobs, there is only about 5 grams each of protein, carbs, and fat, making these low in calories but definitely not low in flavor or nutritive value. Try these skewers as a perfect summer appetizer, snack, or side dish that will have your fellow skewer devourers asking for more.
trawberry Caprese Skewers
Makes about 5 skewers
½ cup balsamic vinegar
10 strawberries with the leafy area cut out
15 mozzarella balls, ciliegine size used here
5 skewers about 8” in length
Add balsamic to a small saucepan and heat on medium-low. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for about 8-10 minutes. You want the balsamic to reduce to about 1/4 to 1/3 the original volume and be thicker in consistency. I ended up with about 3 tbs. of reduced balsamic. Take off the heat and let cool. The balsamic reduction will thicken to become more syrupy as it cools.
Layer the mozzarella and strawberries on the skewers, separating each with a basil leaf. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the skewers right before serving and enjoy!
Any extra balsamic reduction can be used on other fruits, salads, meats, pastas, pretty much anything! It will keep theoretically indefinitely at room temperature.