Peppadew Pepper Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Glaze are a twist on a traditional caprese salad that you can prepare all year round!
There’s a majestic tree at one of my favorite parks – one of those gorgeous valley oak trees I have grown to love, with an arching canopy that it wore like a crown, it’s trunk so large it would take at least three arm spans to give it a hug. Over the years, I considered it a friend. It shaded us on those summer days while my kids and I would picnic and play – especially during those toddler years when we would spend all day at the park in the summer. It was where I would photograph families, back when I shot portraits. It was where my kids would run circles after a day at summer camp.
It had probably seen decades of picnics and proposals and even wedding vows (they did have weddings at this park), and is in the background of countless family portraits and Christmas cards.
Imagine my shock when I drove my kids to drama camp last week to find a hole where the oak’s trunk should be, the lawn surrounding it looking completely barren and empty. I whined on snapchat and shared my sadness, and soon after learned that it had suffered a split in the middle of the night last month, and tree experts found that it suffered from trunk failure. I had underestimated its age – at over 150 years, it lived well beyond the average life span of valley oak trees, and was cut down for the safety of everyone who loved it as much as I did.
I’ll miss picnics under that oak tree, and thought of it as I made these Peppadew Pepper Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Glaze. They’re perfectly portable for a summer picnic, and my take on a traditional caprese salad. Instead of vine ripened tomatoes, I used sweet and spicy peppadew peppers — come to think of it, this is an appetizer that will last way past summer and can be made all year round! Just find a perfect spot in the shade of a tree and enjoy!
MORE EASY APPETIZER RECIPES
Peppadew Pepper Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Glaze
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 12 oz marinated fresh mozzarella Trader Joe’s makes a great one
- 1 14- oz jar mild whole peppadew peppers see notes below
- 8 oz prosciutto thinly sliced
- Make the balsamic glaze by stirring together the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and it begins to simmer. Lower heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes, stirring periodically. When the glaze begins to coat the back of a spoon, remove the glaze from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.
- While you make the glaze, prepare the caprese skewers. Using 4-6 inch skewers, thread the balls of mozzarella, peppadew peppers and prosciutto, alternating as desired. Just before serving, season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle or dip of the balsamic glaze.