Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Grilled Caprese Kabobs -- summer on a stick -- #bookgiveaway


LESLIE BUDEWITZ: We rarely repeat recipes here on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, but I can’t resist the temptation to share our recipe for the taste of summer, which I originally posted almost exactly two years ago. It’s one of my most popular posts.

The recipe—if you even want to call it that—became so popular in my own household that I ended up crediting it to Fresca, manager emeritus of the fictional Merc, and featuring it at a picnic in TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, the fourth Food Lovers’ Village Mystery, out this week. The recipe is in the book, but there’s no reason for you to sit there hungry and drooling while you wait for your copy.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, new this week!

It’s inspired, of course, by Caprese salads, which I am convinced are the salad the angels make when God needs a snack.

It’s a kind of magical medley that screams summer. Plus, you can grow cherry or grape tomatoes and basil on your back deck. (If you’ve figured out how to grow mozzarella balls in your garden, call me!)

We recommend two kabobs per person, as an appetizer. Both cherry and grape tomatoes work great, and the more color variety, the better! We used herbed mozzarella balls packed in oil from Costco, but plain cheese packed in water works, too. On a lark, we used a blackberry Balsamic vinegar we'd been given, and thought we were in heaven.

If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak them first. You can also make mini versions, grilled or not, on appetizer-size sticks.

Kids would love making and eating these. There’s pretty much no way to mess them up. Except to not make enough.

Here’s to a tasty, happy summer, with good food, good friends, and a great book! (I have suggestions...)

Grilled Caprese Kabobs

For each kabob:

3 small tomatoes
2 fresh mozzarella balls, herbed or plain
3 fresh basil leaves
olive oil, if you’re using plain cheese
salt and pepper
Balsamic vinegar
a metal or bamboo skewer (if you're using bamboo, soak them first)


Heat your grill. Use a perforated grill sheet or rack, if you have one; otherwise, grill directly over the heat. (A reader told me she discovered too late that her grill was out of propane, so she broiled these in the oven, with great success!)



Thread the skewers, starting with a tomato, a basil leaf, a cheese ball, another basil leaf, and so on, until you’ve threaded three tomatoes and two cheese balls, with a leaf between each. If your basil leaves are large, fold in half. If you’re using water-packed cheese, brush with olive oil. (The sharp-eyed among you may notice that these have only two tomatoes. First draft. Three tomatoes are better.)




Lay on the grill or grill sheet and close the grill lid. Grill 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft, even a little charred, and the cheese begins to melt. Don’t let your cheese fall off! Remove from grill and place skewers on serving plate. Season with salt and pepper if you’d like and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!


Oops -- looks like I forgot to take a picture after I drizzled on the Balsamic. In too much of a hurry to eat them! I promise, you will be, too!

Got a favorite food that screams "summer!" to you?

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017). (US and Canadian addresses only. Winner will be chosen Saturday, June 10.) 

From the cover: 

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

60 comments:

  1. Love Caprese; and the book sounds fabulous. Food that screams summer to me = freshly picked strawberries. EMS591@aol.com

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  2. The kabobs look healthy; thanks for the chance to win :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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  3. Jam and Jazz. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
    elainehroberson@gmail.com

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  4. Love Caprese salad and kabobs sounds like a nice variation. Fresh local (Ontario or Quebec) strawberries are a sign that summer is here. They should arrive in our farmer's markets in a few weeks.
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

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  5. The first time we were in Florence (yes, Italy), my husband and I had tomato caprese with fresh mozzarella. With Chianti,it was €45, roughly $75, worth every penny!!

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    Replies
    1. And now you can recreate the memory at home for a fraction of that!

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    2. Especially since I don't have to pay airfare to Italy every time

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  6. It was in a little cafe just off the Piazza della Signora. There's a stone bench there where John took a nap! He can fall asleep anywhere!

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    1. A useful skill -- Mr. Right has it, too.

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  7. Delectable recipe and ideal for summer. For me summer means bruschetta with orzo salad. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yummy -- pass me the bowl, please!

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  8. Love this adaptable recipe & thanks for a chance to win this book in one of my favorite series. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  9. That is a lovely summer recipe and I have all of the ingredients! My favorite food that screams summer is Vietnamese fresh spring rolls. The rice noodle wrapper contains plenty of fine julienne vegetables, fresh herbs like basil, coriander, and mint and rice noodles. It is served with a dipping sauce base of fish sauce. However, I also like it with a peanut dipping sauce.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  10. What a wonderful way to serve Caprese salad -- I would never have thought to grill it! I love to serve it with a balsamic reduction/glaze. It's time to start planting basil! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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  11. These kebabs are calling my name. Tomatoes and basil, corn on the cob, and peaches are my summer siren call. Thank you for the chance to win. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Corn and peaches -- oh, my! Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Sounds like an easy appetizer.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    Replies
    1. And you don't have to grill it -- still yummy!

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  13. Love the heirloom tomatoes available at the farmers' market along with some wonderful cheeses - great with a fresh baked loaf of French bread and a glass of wine.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  14. Sounds so good and the recipe looks so good! Would love to read and review on a few sites ptclayton2@aol.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, PT -- enjoy these lovely days!

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  15. Love kabobs! Fruit ones are also good for summer.
    turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh, fruit kabobs -- what a great idea! Drizzle with a balsamic reduction, or a honey-lavender syrup. Mmmmmmmmmm....

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  16. This is brilliant! My sugar snap peas should be producing any day now - with just a little butter and salt, they mark the start of summer for me.

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    Replies
    1. Ha -- mine rarely make it in from the garden, cuz I stand out there and eat them!

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  17. This looks lovely and simple! I need to get a basil plant; we had a freeze this winter so that's all she wrote. I gave up trying to grow urban tomatoes, so we'll be buying those too!
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. If you've got a farmers' market nearby, you'll be set!

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  18. Definitely a winner!
    I like the idea of grilling these. Another flavor layer.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Exactly, Libby -- though they're good either way. Enjoy!

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  19. These look delicious!! I am going buy the ingredients I need at the store tomorrow. Grilled things always scream summer to me. Thank you so much for the chance to win! Happy early release day!
    magicgirl2357@yahoo.com

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    1. Enjoy! And thanks -- Release Day never stops thrilling me!

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  20. Yum sound delicious! parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

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    Replies
    1. They taste even better than they look, which is saying a lot! Enjoy!

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  21. Congratulations on your new release, Leslie, TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST is a delightful culinary mystery! xoxo ~ Cleo

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    1. Thanks, Cleo, for the wonderful cover blurb you gave Treble!

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  22. I love anything with my fresh basil. I have been getting these little tomatoes at Sams called flavor burst. They are absolutely the tastiest little things ever. I cannot wait to try this and yes it will be my whole dinner, lol. Thanks

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    1. And a very good dinner, indeed -- enjoy!

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  23. Congrats on your newest release!! For us is our favorite summer thing is corn on the cob and peaches. Strawberries, blueberries, melon balls in brandy syrup. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

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    1. Melon balls in brandy syrup? Hand me that bowl, Della!

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  24. Any new way to do Caprese is a delight. Can't wait to try this and to read the new book. kchinetti at gmail dot com.

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  25. Summer is fried green tomatoes to me...tart...delicious..thank you for the opportunity...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh, gosh, that sounds wonderful -- fresh and fried together!

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  26. Won't be long before I can use my summer bounty on recipes like this! Yum! Thanks so much for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. The taste treats of summer -- such a joy!

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  27. Corn on the cob ---locally grown--screams summer to me. I think those kabobs wound wonderful.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. They'd be a great complement to that corn on the cob, me thinks!

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  28. The kabobs look amazing! Love this series, can't wait to read "Treble at the Jam Fest".
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Dianne. I'm so enjoying taking readers on another trip to the Food Lovers' Village!

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  29. I just had to try these...Just wonderful. Easy, tasty and fun. You can't beat that! Your book looks like a lot of fun. Thank you. Sharon catwoman-1(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Yay -- so glad they're a hit at your house, Sharon!

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  30. AND THE WINNER IS ... Jennifer Hansen! Congratulations, and thanks to all of you for joining in the fun. Whatever your favorite summer dish, enjoy it with good friends, family, and a good book!

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