pomodorini e mozzarella ciliegine
Sorry but I really am tired of the Caprese Salad and all its incarnations. Caprese grilled cheese, caprese kabobs, caprese bruschetta, caprese pasta salad, caprese pizza, caprese schmaese. But when I saw a photo of cherry tomatoes paired with cherry-sized mozzarella and edible flowers from a restaurant called “Salt” I just had to make my own version. The idea of the colors alone had me hooked.
After all, there truly is something magical about the classic pairing of tomato and mozzarella and basil. Especially in summer. And of course, with limited ingredients in the dish, the best quality of each component is required. Heirloom cherry tomatoes from the farmers market. Flowers and herbs from my own garden. Balsamic vinegar, gran riserva. Fresh mozzarella crafted in the Italian style. My favorite fruity olive oil from California Ranch.
Fennel grows wild around here. Only the fennel flowers are not from my garden, I gather them on my hikes along the coast. I have to admit that I am a forager. I hike with scissors. The instagram photo below was taken on Tuesday at White Point in San Pedro.
And how do you like this nifty platter with the hole in the corner? A gift from Sally & Al – spotted in a shop on Catalina Island and decided that I had to have it. Sweet dear friends that they are…Grazie Amici!
Mozzarella ciliegine (chee-lee-ay-JEE-nay). Cherry-sized fresh mozzarella. I’ve been practicing my pronunciation. Ciliegine. Ciliegine. Ciliegine.
The silky Aceto Balsamico di Modena Gran Riserva comes from my friends at Gourmet Attitude in NYC. This velvety, rich and creamy vinegar is aged 18 years. Years! The time it took to graduate high school from birth. Perfume-y, simultaneous sweet and sour, extraordinary really. I could drink it.
Pomodorini e mozzarella ciliegine. Or call it a pretty little bite of summer.
Or tomato & cheese with flowers and herbs. Just don’t call it caprese.
summerfest is featuring tomatoes
Summer Fest is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite summertime fruits and vegetables. Be sure to check out the Pinterest Board with over 90,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair! And if that pomodorini e mozzarella ciliegine got you longing for ripe juicy summer tomatoes, you might enjoy taking a peek at other tomato-centric dishes from some fabulous bloggers below…
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Juicy Summer Heirloom Tomato Fruit Salad
Dishing: Homemade Tomato and Herbs Pasta Sauce
Taste With The Eyes: Pomodorini e Mozzarella Ciliegine
The Sensitive Epicure: Tiny Insalata Caprese
Weelicious: Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Slow-Roasted Tomatoes with Bruschetta
Red or Green?: Nachos with Fresh Tomatoes, Pinto Beans and Chiles
Domesticate Me: Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Basil
Blue Apron Blog: Marjoram-Garlic Chicken with Jersey Tomato Panzanella
The Heritage Cook: Caprese Salad and Caprese Pizza
Daily*Dishin: Garden Vegetable Fresh Pasta Sauce
Pinch My Salt: 20 Tomato Recipes
Feed Me Phoebe: Bloody Marias
Dishin & Dishes: Pesto Rosso (Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto)
Devour: Five Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipes
FN Dish: Tomato Recipes Worthy of a Dinner Party
20 thoughts on “pomodorini e mozzarella ciliegine”
I want to put the first picture on a canvas…
Oh good gosh! This is simply stunning!
love the clicks and the recipe…happy to know you through summer fest
Gorgeous, gorgeous! And, that’s the perfect platter for you!
This is one of the most beautiful salads I’ve ever seen!
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Okay it’s been said a few times but it fits! I totally agree with you about the Caprese (is it the new Caesar salad everyone over did a for a decade?) What is the difference bocconcini and this ciliegine? I love putting pansey and flower petals and herbs in my salad when I had my garden, it really takes it to new heights with colour, presentation and flavor. And I remember hiking in CA and finding all sorts of goodies along the trails! Well done, LL!
Grazie La Diva! To answer your question – bocconcini “bite-size” is just slightly larger than ciliegine “cherry-size.”
This is a work of art. How I wish wild fennel grew here. Brava to you for foraging. There’s a world of wonderful edible plants out there just waiting to be found.
The pictures are stunning, so is the recipe.
Love the idea of combining the classic Caprese with eatable flowers.
I look fwd to summer every year to grow our beautiful Jersey tomatoes (it’s such a pathetic short season on the east coast!).
I love the idea of fennel flowers on my Caprese! I never get tired of this combination: mozz and tomatoes……..had it on toast yesterday w/ basil pesto of course!
Beautiful photos LL!
What a splendid transformation of the classic dish. The colors are eye-poppingly beautiful!
This is visually so beautiful LL, I love the beautiful vibrant colors, a work of edible art!
Sorry, but I don’t get you. You say you are “tired of the Caprese Salad and all its incarnations”, yet you create a very beautiful, and I hope, tasty, version of the Caprese here.
If you have been to Campana, you KNOW that the basic insalata Caprese there, a version without all the silly fancying up that many American chefs seem to try to give it, is like tasting Manna itself.
Your version seems to have SOME fancying up, but sensible-like, with variations on the standard Romas found in Campana, and the size of the mozzarella (ciliegine), and with nice edible American additions, fennel flowers and those purple and white petals you don’t identify. Of course, the best extra-virgin and balsamico you can find are a must!
You can be somewhat forgiven for not using the traditional mozzarella di bufala, since no producer I have found in the United States makes ciliegine using the milk of water buffalo cows. Even BelGioioso Cheese, Inc. of Denmark, WI, although apparently using traditional methods (stretching and cutting of the curds) does not use water buffalo cow’s milk, though they make the ciliegine-sized balls (and many other sizes). Therefore their product is more-rightly termed mozzarella di latte.
True mozzarella di bufala is so much more creamy and tasty than its cow’s milk cousin; water buffalo cow’s milk is richer in protein, fat, and calcium … there is really NO comparison. In Campana, the traditional insalata Caprese is made using the ovalini-sized balls (perlini are pearl-sized, ciliegine are cherry-sized, bocconcini are chicken egg-sized, ovalini are duck egg-sized. There are other larger sizes in Campana which I can’t remember the names of just now.) Many restaurants try to make a fair approximation of the insalata Caprese using Belgioioso’s log of mozzarella cheese. It’s JUST NOT mozzarella di bufala! Oh, and be sure to let the cheese come up to room temp before serving, for the most flavor.
So, I disagree that your salad presented here is NOT insalata Caprese. It most certainly is, it’s just your version of it. You must have a prejudice against what has been done to the insalata Caprese in the States. I recommend a trip to Campana to rectify the situation in your mind, to reconnect with the TRUE Caprese, one using the BEST ingredients. You will NOT be disappointed!