Roasted Tomato Caprese Skewers with Basil Pesto (Vegan Adaptable Pesto)


These are the most flavorful caprese skewers since the tomatoes are seasoned and roasted prior to skewering. The fresh basil pesto is the perfect dipping sauce that takes them over the top! They are such a pretty and festive appetizer that is always party perfect. I love to spread extra basil and mix in rosemary if I have it on hand on a round platter before adding skewers to give it a wreath look.

Servings: 4 (Approximately 8 skewers)

Inactive Time: 30 minutes

Active Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For Skewers:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 .75 ounce size package fresh basil, plus extra for decorating platter
  • 1 package Ciliegine fresh mozzarella balls
  • 2 Tbs olive oil Wooden party skewers
  • 2 tsps kosher salt 1 tsp pepper

For Pesto:

  • 1 large bunch fresh basil (approximately 2 cups packed)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or almonds
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus more if needed to thin pesto *See Recipe Note
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (or substitute a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast to keep it vegan.)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a sheet of foil toss while cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast approximately 20-25 minutes until tomatoes start to shrivel but are not bursting apart. Remove from oven and let cool. To assemble skewers add one cherry tomato followed by one sprig fresh basil, then one ball of fresh mozzarella, ending with a second cherry tomato. Repeat with remaining skewers. If desired, double or triple the recipe and place on a round platter with fresh basil stems (and rosemary if you have it) around edges resembling a wreath. Serve with basil pesto sauce.

To make Pesto: Toast pine nuts on a sheet of foil in 350 oven until golden approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Add basil, garlic, cooked pine nuts, and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse to combine ingredients to a fine chop. Next with machine running on low speed drizzle in oil and blend ingredients together. Stop machine to scrape the inside of the bowl and them return to low speed until ingredients fully combine and form a smooth texture. If still too thick add a little more oil to thin slightly. Remove from processor into bowl and stir in grated parmesan. Add salt to taste (start with 1/2 to 1 tsp and taste to avoid over salting. Transfer to bowl or drizzle over skewers for serving.

Recipe Note:

Be sure to use regular olive oil in your pesto and not extra virgin olive oil as the extra virgin is so strong that it can give the pesto a bitter taste.


Enjoy this recipe or have questions? Feel free to leave a comment!

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