These sweet Panzanella Salad Skewers are practically begging to be brought along to your next picnic, potluck, Labor Day barbecue or baby shower. Golden toasted bread tossed in olive oil, sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and fresh basil all speared onto skewers for easy nibbling.
A finishing touch of fresh basil vinaigrette makes all the flavors and colors pop!
What is it about serving things on sticks that make them so much more fun? I’ve been dreaming of these toasted bread Panzanella Salad Skewers all summer as my scrappy backyard crop of cherry tomatoes grew.
That was before the squirrels and my two-year-old (who prefers to eat them unripe and very green) ate every last one.
Fortunately, my local farmer’s market has been cranking out cherry tomatoes far more beautiful than any I could grow.
And the squirrels turn their noses up at my basil, so we’ve got that aplenty.
This vinaigrette, by the way, is a re-make of one of my all time late summer favorites – Sweet Basil Vinaigrette – which makes the best pasta salads. No pasta salad has ever been the same since I discovered this stuff.
With Labor Day on the horizon and football gearing up, put these on your list. They travel well, look festive, and taste like indulgent summery goodness.
On a stick.
Panzanella Salad Skewers
For the skewers:
- 1 small Baguette, cubed
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 pint Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
- 8 oz Small Mozzarella Balls (usually called Ciliegine and packed in salted water)
- 24 leaves Basil
- 16 small Wooden or Bamboo Skewers
For the Vinaigrette
- 24 leaves Basil
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 cloves Shallots
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Toss bread cubes with olive oil (the portion for the skewers) and season with some salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden on the outside, but still slightly tender on the inside (if they are too crisp, it will be hard to thread them onto skewers), 10 to 15 minutes, stirring with a spatula every few minutes.
- While bread cubes bake, make basil vinaigrette by combining basil leaves (the portion for the vinaigrette), honey, vinegar, shallots, olive oil (the portion for the vinaigrette), salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until basil leaves are broken up into very fine pieces and the vinaigrette is nearly smooth.
- Assemble skewers by threading tomatoes, toasted bread cubes, and a mozzarella ball with a basil leaf wrapped around it onto each skewer. Repeat until skewers are full.
- Refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
- Just before serving, drizzle the skewers with vinaigrette.
That rainbow of cherry tomatoes featured in this post? We have Molly (aka. the green cherry tomato lover) to thank for those. She likes the ripe ones too.