Thanksgiving officially marks the beginning of gastronomic over-indulgence. With the end of the year approaching, the celebrations start: departmental parties, lab parties, neighborhood parties, family get-togethers… every one of them loaded with caloric temptations… This Thanksgiving we took a back seat in the kitchen, as we were guests at a fantastic dinner thrown by our dear friends (and neighbors). Our hostess, knowing how much I love to cook, asked if I’d prepare an appetizer for the Thanksgiving party, a question that I answered with the most enthusiastic yes! I opted for something light and refreshing, to provide a counterpoint to the substantial meal ahead, that included a turkey with chestnut dressing that we won’t soon forget!
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)
mozzarella mini-balls (like these)
30 grape or cherry tomatoes
30 black Kalamata olives, pitted
for the dressing:
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground fennel
salt and pepper to taste
When you are ready to start prepping your ingredients, put some music on and go to work: slice the mini-cucumbers 1/8 inch thick, cut the tomatoes and black olives in half. If some olives are too small, leave them whole. Reserve.
Assemble each skewer starting with one small mozzarella ball, half a black olive, another mozzarella ball, a cucumber slice, and finish with half the tomato. Arrange the skewers on a nice serving platter.
Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients in a small bowl, drizzle over the skewers half an hour before serving.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The inspiration for this recipe came from two different sources: “Greek Salad Skewers” from Fine Cooking, and a dressing found in “Small Bites,” but I modified them enough to make it “bewitching.” ;-) One of my changes was to use mozzarella instead of feta cheese because feta tends to crumble and I am forced to eat all the cheese that disintegrates as I stab it. If you don’t find mini-cucumbers, use regular ones, but peel them and cut the slices in halves or quarters, depending on the size.
Fennel seed is the secret for the dressing. I like to use ground and let the dressing sit for a while before using, but next time I’ll use whole fennel seeds and warm them up gently to make an infused oil. Might be even better.
These skewers are very colorful, a nice addition to any cocktail party, but particularly great to open a multi-course dinner. Consider making them for your end-of-the-year festivities.
ONE YEAR AGO: Dundee Cake Bake-Along (and great fun was had by all!)
mussarela em bolinhas pequenas
30 tomates cereja
30 azeitonas pretas Kalamata, sem caroco
Para o molho:
2 colheres de sopa de azeite
2 colheres de chá de suco de limão
1 / 4 de colher de cha de semente de erva-doce
sal e pimenta a gosto
Prepare os ingredientes (uma musica de fundo ajuda…;-): corte os pepinos em fatias finas, corte os tomates e as azeitonas ao meio. Se alumas azeitonas forem pequenas demais, pode usar inteira. Reserve.
Monte cada espetinho começando com uma bolinha de mussarela, meia azeitona preta, outra bola de mussarela, uma fatia de pepino, e termine com a metade do tomate. Coloque os espetinhos em um prato bem bonito para servir.
Faça o molho batendo todos os ingredientes em uma tigela pequena, regue os espetinhos meia hora antes de servir.