The basil in home gardens here in Atlanta is starting to shoot up like a teenage boy, and the aroma can capture the kitchen – whether or not you even turn on the stove.For us basil is a sign that summer is on its way – and oh! we are ready!

We love basil for its use in the kitchen, but also because it can protect cells as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage – it also has a substance that can help block inflammation in the body. Using foods that can help decrease the chronic, low grade inflammation in our bodies is a goal that we strive for in every recipe.

We’ve changed up the simple caprese salad by making it a mouthful! Simply sliding it on skewers and adding a lovely little artichoke heart makes it worthy of a party!

Better than Caprese Salad Skewers

  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Bocconcini or Mozzarella Pearls, cut in half or quarters if necessary
  • Whole Basil Leaves
  • Artichoke Hearts, Small or Quartered
  • Bamboo Skewers

Slide the tomatoes on the skewers followed by the mozzarella pearls, basil leaves and artichoke hearts, drizzle with Basil Balsamic vinaigrette.

Basil-Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1 Garlic Clove, Grated
  • 2 TB Dry Red Wine
  • 2 TB Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1⁄2 Cup Basil Leaves, (Packed)
  • 1⁄4 – 1⁄2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Place the first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender and process well. Drizzle in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

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