Bocconcini Salad

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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A super simple and fresh salad…

After my latest Flora Friday post featuring basil, I just had to use the fragrant culinary herb in my next meal. This bocconcini salad highlights basil perfectly because its flavour enhances and brings the entire dish to life. This salad is super fresh and so quick and easy that it’ll only take you a few minutes to throw together. Paired perfectly with Italian cuisine, last night’s Italian themed dinner featured this delightful salad making it the perfect accompaniment to our chicken parm and inspired taste’s focaccia bread.

Bocconcini Salad

It’s all about quality…

Any recipe with few ingredients requires the best quality ingredients. There’s no where to hide with this bocconcini salad so I definitely recommend using top quality ingredients. Fresh basil from the garden brings a fragrant freshness to the salad. While perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes ensures you have a nice crisp bite each mouthful. Lastly, dressing your bocconcini salad with a high quality olive oil and salt will provide a noticeably tastier difference.

Tips and tricks

  • Cut your cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise as well as the bocconcini cheese. I find the smaller bites allow for better flavour distribution and the tomato juice adds to the dressing.
  • When chopping your basil, stack your washed basil leaves on top of one another. Then roll the stacked leaves and proceed to chop, which will result in uniformly thin stripes of basil.
Bocconcini Salad

Bocconcini Salad

A simple, fresh and fragrant salad.
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Small bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes rinsed and halved lengthwise
  • 100 g bocconcini halved
  • ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
  • ½ tsp salt to taste
  • ½ tsp pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil extra virgin

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the cherry tomatoes and cut into halves.
  • Cut the bocconcini cheese into halves.
  • Chop the fresh basil into uniform thin stripes.
  • Combine the tomatoes, bocconcini, fresh basil, salt, pepper and olive oil into a service bowl and mix until the salad is fully dressed.
Keyword basil, bocconcini, Bocconcini Salad, cold pasta salad, italian, tomato

Basil

Flora Friday featuring Basil aka Ocimum basilicum

After introducing my balcony garden last week, I am now going to feature a different herb or vegetable that I’m growing every Flora Friday. This week I’d like to introduce, Basil a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae family. It is a fragrant herb used worldwide in different cuisines and comes in many different varieties. This versatile herb is an excellent source of vitamin K, A and C, but it is also has medicinal properties. This annual herb is easy to grow in full sun exposure, but can also thrive in partial sun.

Basil

Different varieties

There are many different varieties of basil, the most commonly used types are:

  1. Sweet basil (or Genovese ) is the most common type you’ll find used in North America. It makes the base for a classic pesto and is used most commonly in Italian cuisines.
  2. Thai basil, commonly used in a variety of Asian cuisines has a distinctly different flavour from sweet basil. With a hint of licorice flavour, it is most commonly added to soups and curries.
  3. Holy basil, is not used in cooking but rather for it’s medicinal properties. In Indian medicine, the different parts of the plant are used to treat different conditions such as eye disease or ringworms.
  4. Lemon basil is a hybrid plant that is used in cooking. It’s mild but crisp flavour compliments seafood and sauces very well.

In my balcony garden, I am currently growing sweet basil as I most commonly add it to my Italian themed dishes.

basil

How to grow Basil

The basil plant is a fast growing herb that should be pruned pretty regularly to encourage new growth. The ideal condition is a full sun for 6-8 hours a day, but it will also flourish in partial sun. It grows in warm climates so it will thrive in the ground and in a pot. Cold temperatures can kill your plant so bring it inside during cold temperatures or harvest it beforehand. The herb requires well-drained and moist soil, so daily watering is important to keep your plant nice and healthy.

Regular pruning of your plant will encourage your it to branch and produce more leaves throughout the summer. If you don’t have an immediate use for your harvest, you can:

a) roll the leaves in a paper towel for about a week in the fridge

b) dry them out

c) freeze them for later use