Appetizer: Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers with Basil Oil

Earlier today we told you about our cocktail party strategy of sticking to two or three dishes (rather than eight or nine) that look bountiful and feed a crowd. This is one we just served: tomato skewers piled high on a platter, dressed up with a little basil oil that takes two minutes to make.

We're basically taking a caprese salad and putting it on a stick, and no doubt you've seen a variation of these skewers on a buffet or two in your day. But they really are hard not to like, and they couldn't be easier to throw together.

We bought bocconcini, bite-sized mozzarella balls, to make the process even quicker, but you could also cut a big ball of mozzarella into chunks. On each skewer, we put three grape tomatoes and one piece of cheese.

For the basil oil, we blended a couple of handfuls of fresh basil leaves in a blender with enough olive oil to make it fluid and creamy. We put it through a strainer, thinking we'd get clear green oil on the other end, but most of the basil bits came through the sieve. Next time we won't bother with that step; the bits of basil are a nice pop of color anyway.

Because we were transporting this platter to another location for the party, we put our basil oil in a squeeze bottle and squirted it on once we got there. Done!

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Related: Questions for Allie: Appetizers for a Stress-Free Cocktail Party?

(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)