The “salad” is the standard side dish at any BBQ. Potato salad and pasta salad are the standard staples. You throw a potluck BBQ and chances are high that you will find yourself scrambling through your kitchen to find enough serving spoons for the six or seven bowls of potato salad sitting on your picnic table. Each will have its own merits, red-skinned potatoes, a Dijon mustard base or green pea accents.
There is nothing wrong with these traditional sides. They’re reliable and through the awe-inspiring power of the internet, side salads are getting a long overdue makeover. Bacon is making an appearance, quinoa is taking a starring role and fruit and vegetables are mixing it up in the same bowl. It’s an exciting time to be a BBQ side.
A few weeks ago, at an impromptu BBQ, a family friend took the BBQ side to the next level. I was impressed. He took ingredients that would have made an amazing salad and added nature’s greatest food delivery tool: the toothpick. The result is a bite-sized salad that you don’t have to balance on your knee while lounging in an Adirondack chair. These adorable little nibbles are easy to assemble and require very little prep, making them a perfect addition to any on the fly BBQ.
- 8 ounce container cherry-sized mozzarella balls
- 15-20 basil leaves
- 1 large pinch of cracked black pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 thin slices prosciutto
- 15-20 cherry tomatoes
- 15-20 pitted kalamata olives
- Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
- Place mozzarella balls and half the water from the package in a medium bowl with olive oil.
- Chop 5 basil leaves and mince garlic. Add minced garlic, chopped basil and pepper to mozzarella. Place mixture in the refrigerator overnight.
- Cut prosciutto into 20-25 thin pieces. Cut the remaining basil leaves in half. Create mini skewers by putting one mozzarella ball, an olive, a cherry tomato, piece of prosciutto and half a basil leaf on a toothpick. Drizzle with olive oil.