Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tortellini Caprese Kabobs (with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette)

If you're in a hurry and need a cute appetizer, look no further.  

Cheese tortellini, Mozzarella "pearls", and grape tomatoes.  On a stick. 

Or, skip the stick and make a salad!

It's a win-win situation.

Here's the printable version of the recipe.

Tortellini Caprese Kabobs
Makes about 12 servings (or 60 kabobs)

1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
3 cups halved grape tomatoes
3 (8 ounce) containers fresh small mozzarella cheese balls (sometimes called "pearls")
60 (6-inch) wooden skewers
Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Prepare tortellini according to package directions. Remove cooked tortellini from boiling water with slotted spoon, gently place in a colander, and rinse with cold water.  (The longer the tortellini cook, they higher the likelihood becomes that will fall apart and look downright ugly on the skewer.)

Thread one tomato half, one cheese ball, another tomato half, and 1 tortellini onto each skewer.  (Following this pattern will get you approximately 60 cute skewers-worth.  Or, go "freestyle" and just do it your own way without worrying about the yield.) 
Place "kabobs" in a 13x9-inch baking pan.  Pour Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette over skewers.  Cover and chill for 1 hour.  Transfer kabobs to serving platter, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  

Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
Yield:  About 1.5 cups

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Whisk together vinegar and salt.  Slowly add in the oil in a steady stream.  Whisk constantly until smooth.  Stir in basil and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Recipe instructions adapted from:  Southern Living