You guys, I can feel appetizer season in the air.

Antipasto Skewers with Kale Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

OKok, that’s probably only because I’m in Nashville today, and the high is set for eighty-six degrees…which, I personally could not be happier about. I cannot remember the last time I felt eighty-six degree weather on my skin. It’s my favorite, and the fact that I totally can’t remember the last time I was in this kind of warmth is just beyond sad.

Goal for this summer: force myself to go on a tropical vacation. Like no excuses this year.

Anyway, speaking of Nashville! I flew in last night and quite possibly as you read this I am cooking up a storm on Today in Nashville. Well, maybe not a storm, but I am making this raspberry ricotta croissant french toast for a Mother’s Day segment and I am pretty excited about it. One, because I LOVE this recipe, and two, because it’s my first time on live TV. Definitely a bit nervous, but excited too! Send good vibes my way! I’m just hoping not to burn the french toast or do something totally embarrassing…which would be one hundred percent something I would do. YIKES.

I’m here for a quick trip, and then it’s back on a plane tonight. Off again, this time to San Diego for a few days with my family (yes all of us will be there) to celebrate my cousin Abby’s grad school graduation. On Monday I will head up to LA for some meetings. Going to be busy, busy, so follow along on instagram stories!

Antipasto Skewers with Kale Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Antipasto Skewers with Kale Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

OK. Whoa, sorry about that. Didn’t mean to get so completely off topic. Let’s talk about these antipasto skewers. Aren’t they so fun?! I gave them a little warm weather twist and included some melon balls for a little sweet and savory factor. So good.

With Memorial Day just a couple of weeks away, I’m definitely in appetizer/snack/entertaining mode. I feel like there are two appetizer seasons, late spring through summer and then late fall through the end of the year. I can’t really say which is my favorite, because I love both seasons to pieces, but I have to admit that I am pretty excited about all the bright produce (hello heirloom tomatoes) hitting the stores. When I saw the first batch of heirloom cherry tomatoes, and then one cute little melon sitting on my kitchen counter, I had the idea to combine the two to make a fruity antipasto skewer, which I know sounds kind of odd, but trust me the sweet and savory are where it’s at. Plus, you guys know I am good at these weird combos…hey, they work!

Here’s how these skewers break down, they are kind of loaded. Toasted bread cubes, olives, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, melon balls (I used watermelon and cantaloupe), red peppers, prosciutto, mozzarella, and fresh basil. I recommend mixing and matching your skewers. I did a few with melon balls and few without, a few with olives and a few with out, just kind of played around with combos and had fun layering them up. Either way you layer them though, they will be delicious!

Since you know I love everything with a little drizzle, I made a vibrant kale pesto for serving with the skewers. The pesto keeps the veggies and bread from drying out while adding some serious flavor.

Antipasto Skewers with Kale Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I love the idea of skewer appetizers because they are hand-held and easy for people to grab and go. Perfect for outdoor entertaining…or just when a snack attack hits. Plus, everything is alway better when served on a stick. It’s just fun.

You can assemble these in advance and keep in the fridge for up to a day, but bring them to room temperature for before serving.

I like to drizzle a little of the pesto over the skewers and then let them sit for a bit to kind of marinate. Then just serve up the remaining pesto alongside the skewers.

Pretty simple and easy, right?

Highly recommend giving these a test run this Sunday for Mother’s Day…and then recreating them all summer long. <–obviously a little excited for summertime over here. Can you blame me?

And lastly? If you wanted to double up on the mozzarella, I think that would be a pretty brilliant idea.

Antipasto Skewers with Kale Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

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Antipasto Skewers with Kale Pesto

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 0 about 20 skewers

Ingredients

  • 2 cups toasted cubed bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup mixed olives, pitted
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup marinated artichokes, quartered
  • 1 cup melon balls (I used watermelon and cantaloupe)
  • 1 roasted red pepper, cut into bite size pieces
  • 6-8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto and or salami (I used a mix)
  • 1 cup mozzarella balls
  • 1 cup fresh basil

Kale Pesto

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    2. Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to the oven and bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted and golden. Let cool.

    3. To assemble the skewers, thread the bread cubes, olives, tomatoes, artichokes, melon, red peppers, prosciutto, mozzarella, and basil on long skewers. You can mix and match your skewers or make them all the same. 

    4. Arrange on a serving plate and serve drizzled with the kale pesto (recipe follows)

Kale Pesto

  1. 1. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until chunky smooth. Taste and add salt as needed. Keep stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Serve alongside the skewers. 

Antipasto Skewers with Kale Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

And with that I am off! Any of you Nashville readers be sure to tune into Today in Nashville!!