Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bocconcini and Roasted Tomato Salad

8 Roma tomatoes, cut in half, lengthways
2 cups rocket or baby spinach leaves
12 bocconcini cherries, cut in half, (See Notes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sliced basil leaves
30 g parmesan cheese, shaved
cracked black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the griller and roast the tomatoes, cut side down, until the skins become blistered and charred. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel.
2. Place the rocket leaves on serving plates and arrange the roasted tomatoes on top. Tuck the bocconcini cherries in between the tomatoes.
3. Drizzle the salad first with the olive oil, then the vinegar. Scatter with the basil and parmesan, dust with the pepper and serve at once.

Notes: Bocconcini cheese is a fresh stretched curd cheese formed into little domes referred to as cherries. The cherries are sold immersed in a mild brine solution. Bocconcini has a delicate flavour and provides an interesting texture rather similar to al dente pasta. It is used to carry other flavours such as fresh herbs and olive oil in salads. When heated, as on top of pizzas, it melts into appetising creamy-coloured pools.


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