Strawberries are one of my favorite things about summer. As a child I picked strawberries to earn spending money, I think I ate more than I picked, but fortunately we were not charged for eating the profits.
There is something about the strawberry’s sweetness and slight tanginess that appeals to me and I try to make good use of them in my summer recipes.
The great thing about strawberries is that not only are they delicious, but they are packed with nutrients as well! Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent damage to the body’s cells and can reduce the risk of heart disease, improve cognitive function (aka improve memory), protect the eyes from diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts, and even help prevent cancer. Strawberries also contain high levels of Vitamin C which supports immune system function. In addition, strawberries contain potassium and magnesium which can aid in lowing blood pressure.
One of my favorite summer strawberry recipes is Strawberry Caprese Salad Skewers. Creamy mozzarella combines with sweet strawberries, tangy tomatoes and crisp basil topped with a sweet tang of balsamic vinegar. This is a fun delicious recipe that makes a terrific appetizer or side dish for a picnic or summer potluck.
Strawberry Caprese Salad Skewers
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, plain or strawberry infused
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 bamboo skewers, 6-8″ long
- 24 ciliegine mozzarella balls
- 24 cherry tomatoes, washed and dried
- 16 strawberries, washed, dried and halved
- 2 large bunches sweet basil, enough for 24 leaves, washed and dried
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
- Add mozzarella balls and marinade in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
- Wash and dry tomatoes, strawberries, and basil.
- To make skewers, slide 1 strawberry half to the end of the skewer followed by 1 basil leaf, 1 mozzarella ball, and finally 1 tomato, repeat 2 more times and finish with an additional half strawberry . Repeat the process for all 8 skewers.
- To serve, arrange skewers on a serving tray and drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar.
If you do not want to go to the trouble of making skewers, combine marinade, mozzarella, tomatoes, strawberries, and 1/3 cup thinly sliced basil leaves in a bowl and gently mix. Serve over spinach or kale.