Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tomato and Bocconcini Salad


4 medium-size tomatoes
2 balls bocconcini cheese
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil

1. Slice the tomatoes and the bocconcini. Chop the basil.

2. On a flat plate, arrange the tomato and bocconcini slices in concentric circles, slightly overlapping each other.

3. Add salt and pepper generously. Sprinke with the oil and chopped basil.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Zesty South-of-the-border Bocconcini


Bocconcini are 1-inch Mozzarella balls.

2-4 lg. cloves garlic, minced
2/3 c. cilantro, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2/3 c. red onion, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano (1/4 tsp. dry)
2/3 c. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. fresh lime juice
6-8 Bocconcini (1/2 or more pounds), cut into quarters
1-2 sm. to med. poblano or Anaheim chiles
1 lg. Haas avocado, peeled, cut into 16 pieces
2/3 c. jicama, peeled, cut into match stick

Roast, skin, cut into long strips, then into thirds (or use dry chiles, soaked).

Mix garlic, cilantro, onion, cumin, oregano, oil, salt and pepper and lime juice. Add cheese, chiles, avocado and jicama. Toss lightly. Marinate 15-30 minutes. Serve at room temperature on lettuce as a salad, with barbecue chicken or meat as a side dish, or as an appetizer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bruschetta Pasta with Seasoned Bocconcini


4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 yellow sweet bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Morton® Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound bowtie pasta
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
Seasoned Bocconcini, (recipe follows)

In large bowl, combine vegetables with oil, vinegar, Morton® Kosher Salt and black pepper. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid; drain pasta and toss with vegetable mixture. Add pasta water as needed for sauce. Stir in Seasoned Bocconcini mixture to pasta and vegetables. Top with fresh basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Seasoned Bocconcini:
1 container 7 ounces fresh mozzarella (Bocconcini), drained, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Morton® Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
In medium bowl, combine ingredients; cover and refrigerate until needed.

Marinated Bocconcini with Grilled Zucchini Salad and Prosciutto

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1 lb. boconcini*
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 md. zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch strips
1 lemon, zest of
1 bunch chives, ends removed
2 md. plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice, seeds and liquid reserved
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 lb. prosciutto, sliced paper-thin
Preheat the grill. Drain the boconcini of the liquid it came in. In a mixing bowl, place zucchini, 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, thyme, oregano, crushed red chili flakes, and salt and pepper. Set aside at least 1 hour.

Place zucchini slices on the grill and cook until tender but not really soft. Remove from grill and place in medium bowl. Add lemon zest, whole chives, plum tomato pieces, vinegar and chopped parsley. Toss gently to coat zucchini and divide among 4 plates.

Place 3 boconcini on top of each pile of zucchini and set aside. Stack all prosciutto directly on top of one another and cut across the slice into matchstick julienne. Sprinkle over mozzarella and zucchini and serve immediately.

Pizza with bocconcini, tomatoes and basil

Pizza is traditionally a peasant food from the south of Italy and is eaten with a tomato and basil sauce and served without cheese.

It's enjoyed by all the family and is a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen as you are only limited by your imagination. People tend to put anything on a pizza, from olives to anchovies but this recipe is one of my all time favourites.

Serves 4

You need:
thin pizza bases (you could also use lavash or pita bread)
tomato pasta sauce (One heaped table spoon)
2 ripe, red roma or likewise tomatoes
cracked pepper
olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Place tomato pasta sauce on pizza base and spread liberally all over the base.
Add the mozzarella, bocconcini, tomato and cracked pepper to the pizza.

Place in the pre-heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and base is crisp. (If using lavash or pita bread for this recipe, the cooking time will be considerably shorter.)

Add basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil and add more cracked pepper.

Prosciutto, Bocconcini & Mango Salad

With the festive season winding down we have put together a very healthy and easily made light meal.

1 Cos Lettuce (endive can be used)
150grms Prosciutto Parma Ham
200g Bocconcinni (diced)
1 Mango (350g tinned peaches drained and sliced)
1 Lemon
Olive Oil

Wash and rip the lettuce into pieces and place in a salad bowl. Tear ham into thin strips and roll into small balls. Cut bocconcinni and mango into cubes and place into the salad bowl. Mix two tablespoons of lemon juice with four tablespoons of olive oil in a separate sauce bowl and mix well. Season with a pinch of white pepper. Pour mixture into salad bowl and mix. The salad can be served from the salad bowl or plated, however add cracked pepper once served.

This salad is very fresh and light; a perfect dish for the time of year and the dressing goes perfectly with a Riesling.

Avocado, Tomato, and Bocconcini Salad


4-6 ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly
2 ripe avocados, peeled, stoned, and sliced thinly
10 oz bocconcini, drained and halved 300 g
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, left whole 125 ml

For the vinaigrette:

1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp salt 2 ml
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard 7 ml
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 25 ml
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 80 ml
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves 25 ml
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon 15 ml
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 ml


To prepare the vinaigrette:
Crush the garlic and salt to a paste in a mortar and pestle or with the flat side of a knife blade. Combine the garlic with the remaining vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar with a tightly fitting lid, and shake thoroughly. Arrange the tomato and avocado slices in concentric, overlapping circles on a large platter, inserting the whole basil leaves throughout. Scatter the bocconcini halves on top, drizzle the dressing over everything, and serve at once.
This Mediterranean salad - insalata tricolore in Italian - echoes the colours of the Italian flag. The flavours of sweet, ripe tomatoes, rich, nutty avocado, and peppery fresh basil combine to complement perfectly the creamy mellowness of "baby" mozzarella, or bocconcini. Bocconcini comes in small balls, usually kept fresh in a light brine. Serve this salad with crusty ciabatta bread to mop up the juices and vinaigrette.

Tomato and Mozzarella Bocconcini


1 bunch fresh basil leaves, cleaned
1 pint bocconcini mozzarella pieces
Quick Tomato Sauce, recipe follows

Blanch fresh basil leaves in boiling water for just a second and then remove right into a large bowl of ice water. Drain the basil, carefully squeezing out the excess water, but keeping the leaves whole. Wrap 1 basil leaf around each bocconcini. Skewer the wrapped bocconcini onto the end of a wooden skewer. Dip in the tomato sauce and enjoy!

North Beach Pork Bocconcini


2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1. Place all ingredients in a 1-gallon self-sealing plastic bag, mix well. Seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator 8 to 12 hours or overnight.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Remove pork cubes from marinade, discarding marinade. Pat pork dry with paper toweling; place cubes in a single layer, not touching, in a shallow baking pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes, until pork is just tender and lightly browned.
4. Remove to serving platter or chafing dish and serve hot.

Serves 16.

Radiatore Pasta with Grilled Chicken Bocconcini


***Roasted Garlic:***

* 1 cup garlic cloves
* 1/2 cup olive oil


* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 pound radiatore or penne pasta
* 6 chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each), grilled and cut into bite-sized chunks
* 2 cups Dried Tomato Pesto
* 1 cup Pasta or marinara sauce
* 2 cups fresh basil leaves, julienned (sliced into ribbons)
* 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
* 2 packages (8 ounces each) bocconcini, cut in half


Bring a small pan of water to boil. Immerse garlic cloves in boiling water for three minutes. Drain and pat dry. In a small, heavy saucepan or saute pan, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic cloves over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, turning continuously, until golden brown.

Remove garlic cloves from oil and drain on paper towels. Cool garlic oil and reserve for other uses such as salad dressings or sauteing vegetables or chicken.


Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large, deep pot. Add salt, oil and pasta and cook until al dente (barely tender). Drain pasta and return to the large pot. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Add roasted garlic and toss again. To serve, heat the pasta over low heat just until bocconcini begins to melt.

Note: Bocconcini are small fresh mozzarella balls packed in water, sold in cheese shops and in the refrigerated cheese section of many markets.

This recipe for Radiatore Pasta With Grilled Chicken Bocconcini And Roasted Garlic serves/makes 8.

Cherry Tomato Bocconcini and Basil Bruschetta


* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for sprinkling
* 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 12 bocconcini cheeses, halved,
* or
* 13 ounces of mozzarella cheese, cubed
* 20 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1 Handful torn fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
* 4 thick slices country bread, preferably sourdough
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
* 1 cup arugula leaves


Whisk together three tablespoons of the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese, tomatoes and basil leaves. Set aside. Grill the bread on both sides until lightly browned and crisp. Rub one side of each slice of bread with the garlic, then sprinkle with olive oil. Cover each slice of bread with several arugula leaves. Spoon the tomato and cheese mixture over the arugula. Sprinkle each bruschetta with additional olive oil, then top with basil leaves. Serve immediately.

This recipe for Cherry Tomato Bocconcini And Basil Bruschetta serves/makes 4.

Bocconcini and Sundried Tomatoes

20 Grissol plain Hors d'œuvres
60 ml 1/4 cup Sundried tomatoes, cut in julienne strips
30 ml 2 tbsp Fresh basil, chopped or 10 ml (2 tbsp) of dried basil
60 ml 1/4 cup Olive oil
To taste Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 Pieces of Saputo Bocconcini cheese, cut into 4 equal sections

1• In a bowl, mix dried tomatoes, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper.
2• With a cooking brush, lightly brush the oil mixture on the hors d'œuvres.
3• Top with one section of Bocconcini cheese.
4• Cover with the dried tomato and basil mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Serves 4 people

Parmesan Crumbed Asparagus on Bocconcini Salad

250 g fresh asparagus spears
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
4 roma tomatoes, quartered
100 g bocconcini cheese (milk cherries), halved (see Notes)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
pepper, to taste
Parmesan crumbed asparagus on bocconcini salad

1. Coat asparagus in flour, dip in egg and coat in combined breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, press lightly.
2. Place asparagus on a lined oven tray and bake at 200°C for 8 to 10 minutes or until parmesan cheese is golden and crisp.
3. Combine tomatoes, bocconcini cheese and basil and drizzle with vinegar. Arrange salad onto serving plates, top with crumbed asparagus and season to taste.

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.

Bocconcini Salad


* 1 pound bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella balls)
* 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 1/2 cup Belgian endive leaves
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped arugula, stems included
* 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* salt and pepper to taste
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves


1. In a large salad bowl, combine the mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, celery, endive and arugula.
2. Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil; pour over the salad and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss until all the ingredients are thoroughly coated with the dressing. Sprinkle the basil over the salad and serve immediately.

Marinated Bocconcini


1/2 cup freshly diced roasted red peppers (homemade or store-bought)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls) (As these vary in size--if they are on the larger size, cut them into more bite-size pieces--more surface area to absorb all the flavouring)

In a bowl, combine peppers, basil, olives, red pepper flakes, garlic and oil, and pour over bocconcini. Cover and marinate for at least 4 hours, but preferably 48, in refrigerator. Serve with toothpicks. Servings: Makes 36

Preparation time: About 10 minutes Marinating time: 4 to 48 hours

Marinated Bocconcini


8 bocconcini, cut into quarters
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbs rosemary, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
freshly ground pepper

Place bocconcini in a glass bowl. Combine remaining ingredients, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour over bocconcini. Cover, and refrigerate overnight or longer. They keep a week or more and get even more flavourful. To serve, remove from fridge one hour before to allow oil to liquefy; drain and serve.

For more of a Greek flavour, add a crumpled bay leaf or two, and a tablespoon of both rosemary and oregano leaves). If marinating olives, omit the salt.
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