Tomato-Mozzarella Skewers

This appetizer is easy and light. It’s a refreshing cool treat in the summer and a welcome change from heavy fare in winter. Unskewered and tossed together, it makes a gorgeous, simple salad. Marinate the cheese in advance. It will keep for a week or more. Assemble just as many as you plan to eat, as the tomatoes will get gross and mushy if stored in the refrigerator.

sweet grape tomatoes or very small cherry tomatoes
fresh mozzarella boconccini (little balls), drained and rinsed (If you can’t find boconccini, cube larger balls of fresh mozzarella.)
1/2 cup good quality French vinaigrette
red wine vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper
chopped fresh herbs, your choice (optional)
artichoke bottoms, marinated mushrooms, olives, etc., your choice (optional)

Several hours or up to a week in advance, marinate the cheese. Halve or quarter the drained boconccini. The size should correspond to the tomatoes, so if you can get grape tomatoes instead of just cherry, you’ll want smaller pieces of cheese. Marinate in vinaigrette, plus a splash of additional olive oil and red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Only assemble what you plan to eat at one sitting. Skewer a tomato, a chunk of cheese on each toothpick. Add a veggie (small olives, marinated mushrooms, or a chunk of cut-up artichoke bottoms) if you like. Garnish with chopped herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper.

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