Bocconcini Salad with Tomato and Basil and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

I made this classic Bocconcini Salad with Tomato and Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing yesterday for lunch. I was working from home and it was just too hot to eat a regular lunch, so made this salad at the spur of the moment. 🙂 Actually while I made the salad on a whim, it was a week since I had bought the ingredients.

I was actually online shopping for Cream Cheese when I chanced upon Bocconcini. I was super excited because I had enjoyed these little Mozzarella balls on my last trip to Italy. I ordered them forthwith and this Bocconcini Salad is the first dish in which I used them. This Bocconcini Salad is very very simple to make and involves no cooking.

All you need to do to make this salad is chop the tomatoes, mix them up with the basil and bocconcini and top it with a simple dressing in which Balsamic Vinegar plays a starring role! The result is a fresh salad that you can enjoy anytime.

  • Bocconcini is popular in South Italy (around Naples and Salerno) and is essentially Mozzarella made with Buffalo Milk. It is shaped into small balls and stored along with the whey which prevents it from drying out.
  • I ordered these Bocconcini from Gourmetdelight, an online Organic Food Store that delivers in Mumbai and Pune. I was very impressed with the care with which they packed my Cream Cheese and Bocconcini in dry ice so that they remain cold and do not spoil. They were also very prompt in delivery. I am quite enjoying browsing their online store and cannot wait to order the next lot of goodies.

Tomato, Basil and Bocconcini Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

How to Make Bocconcini Salad with Tomato and Basil and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

Bocconcini Tomato and Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
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Bocconcini Salad with Tomato and Basil and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 
This fresh Bocconcini Salad with Tomato and Basil and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing is very light and the perfect meal for a hot summer day.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 Cups
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
Ingredients for the Salad
  • 4 Large Tomatoes
  • 100 gms Bocconcini
  • 20 to 30 Fresh Basil Leaves
Ingredients for the Dressing
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove
  • 3/4 tsp Sugar
Instructions
Method to Make the Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
  1. Smash the garlic.
  2. In a glass bowl, mix together the smashed garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and sugar.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Set aside for 5 minutes for the sugar to dissolve.
  5. Mix well.
Method to Make the Bocconcini Salad
  1. Cut the tomato into 1" cubes.
  2. Cut the Bocconcini in Half.
  3. Mix together the tomatoes, bocconcini and basil leaves.
  4. Dress with the Balsamic Vinegar Dressing.
  5. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

You can use Cherry Tomatoes cut in half instead of large tomatoes.

 

Bocconcini Salad with Tomato and Basil

Betel Leaf Salad with Tamarind, Lime, Soy and Palm Sugar Dressing

Betel Leaves Salad

During Navaratri, I get invited to several homes to see Kolu and for Haldi-Kumkum. One of the side effects of this is the number of betel leaves and fruits that accumulate at home. I normally give away the betel leaves to my maid. Last year I made Paan Shots with some of them. Yesterday I tried this adapted this Bai Chaplu Salad and tried it with Betel leaves.

Bai Cha Plu is a wild pepper leaf found in Thailand and Vitenam. It is also sometimes called Wild Betel Leaf.

What did I like about this salad?

  • First there was the multiple levels of crunch; from the betel leaf itself, from the peanuts, and from the carrot. Fun while munching. 🙂
  • Then there was the dressing which incorporated such a medley of flavours; tamarind, lime, palm sugar, and soy. The explosion of myriad tastes in the mouth was fun.
  • Then there was the spice from the Thai Red Chillies and from the betel leaf itself.

All in all a memorable experience. I am going to experiment with using the wonderful dressing on other salads. I quite fell in love with it.

Serves: 2

Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Betel Leaves – 16-20
  2. Mint Leaves – A Handful
  3. Shredded Carrot – 1/4 Cup
  4. Roasted Peanuts – 1/4 Cup
  5. Thai Red Chillies – 2 (These are very hot so watch out)
  6. Palm Sugar – 1 tbsp
  7. Tamarind Extract – 3/4 tsp
  8. Lime Juice – 1 tbsp
  9. Light Soy Sauce – 1 tsp

Method to Make the Dressing

  1. Mix together the palm sugar, tamarind extract, lime juice, and soy sauce.
  2. Mix well till the sugar dissolves.

Method to Make the Betel Leaf Salad

  1. Cut the betel leaves into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Lightly crush the roasted peanuts.
  3. Lightly bruise the mint leaves.
  4. Chop the Thai Red Chillies into fine pieces.
  5. Mix together the betel leaves, mint leaves, shredded carrot, peanuts and red chillies.
  6. Drizzle the dressing over it.
  7. Enjoy!
Betel Leaves Salad with Tamarind, Lime, Palm Sugar Dressing
Betel Leaves Salad with Tamarind, Lime, Palm Sugar Dressing

Raw Mango Pineapple Salsa or Salad

Raw Mango Pineapple Salsa
Raw Mango Pineapple Salsa

I had this absolutely delightful and fresh Raw Mango Pineapple Salsa at Club Mahindra Ashtamudi.

Of course, the combination of Raw Mango and Pineapple is a marriage made in heaven as it evident from Ambo Annanas Sasam, a popular Konkani recipe. I could not get over the medley of sweet, tangy, and spicy taste of this salsa and tried it at home recently with excellent results.

What I loved about making Raw Mango Pineapple Salsa is that it involved absolutely no cooking and can be put together in a few minutes. I let the salsa rest for an hour so that the various flavours meld together. Do ensure that the mango is tangy and the pineapple is sweet for best results.

How to Make Raw Mango Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

  1. 1/4″ Cubes of Pineapple Pieces – 1 Cup
  2. 1/4″ Cubes of Raw Mango Pieces – 2/3 Cup
  3. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  4. Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  5. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Let the salad or salsa rest for 30 to 60 minutes.
  3. Enjoy the Raw Mango Pineapple Salsa!

Tips

  • I found that using equal proportions of mango and pineapple makes the salsa a bit sour and hence the 3:2 proportion.

Khamang Kakdi | Cucumber Salad from Maharashtra

Khamang Kakdi
Khamang Kakdi – Fresh Cucumber Salad with Roasted Peanuts, Grated Coconut, and a Hint of Lemon

As you can see my summer posts are in full flow. These days salads have become a mainstay of many a meal and cucumber plays a starring role. Apart from the Koshambir, Cucumber Kosambari, Cucumber Raita, and Tzatziki, I also often make Khamang Kakdi, which is a great Maharashtrian favourite.

Truth be told, I love Khamang Kakdi as well because it has crunchy peanuts and fresh coconut to complement the cool cucumber. 🙂

Serves: 4

Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Cucumber – 3
  2. Roasted Peanuts – 1/3 Cup
  3. Grated Fresh Coconut – 1/2 Cup
  4. Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp
  5. Green Chillies – 2
  6. Fresh Coriander – A Handful
  7. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  8. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  9. Ghee or Oil – 1 tsp
  10. Curry Leaves – 4 or 5
  11. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Peel and cube the cucumber into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Crush the roasted peanuts to a coarse powder.
  3. Chop the green chillies into fine pieces.
  4. Mix together the cucumber, coconut, peanut powder, coriander, green chillies, lemon juice, and salt.
  5. In a ladle, heat the ghee or oil.
  6. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  7. Lower the heat.
  8. Add the cumin seeds and wait till they start to change color.
  9. Turn off the heat.
  10. Tear the curry leaves and add to the ghee.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Add the tempering to the Khamang Kakdi.
Khamang Kakdi - Cucumber Salad from Maharashtra
Khamang Kakdi – Cucumber Salad from Maharashtra

Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari – Carrot and Mung Salad – Rama Navami Special

Kosambari is a traditional naivedyam for Rama Navami which heralds the end of Chaitra Navaratri. I have already written about the traditional Kosambari which is made from Cucumber and Moong Dal.

Here is a version of Kosambari made with carrot. I make it often through the summer as it is a light, tangy, crunchy salad.

How to Make Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  1. Grated Carrot – 1 Cup
  2. Hesarubele or Moong Dal – 1/2 Cup
  3. Grated Coconut – 1/4 Cup
  4. Green Chillies – 2
  5. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  7. Curry Leaves – 4 to 6
  8. Oil – 1 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste

The Ingredients for Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari

 

Method

  1. Soak the moong dal in water for about 1 hour.
  2. Drain all the water from the moong dal.
  3. Chop the green chillies to very small pieces.
  4. Mix together the grated coconut, drained moong dal, grated carrot, lemon juice, green chillies, and salt.
  5. Heat the oil.
  6. Add the mustard seeds.
  7. When the mustard seeds start to crackle, turn off the heat.
  8. Add the curry leaves to the hot oil and mix.
  9. Add the tempering to the Kosambari.
  10. Let the Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari rest for at least 10 minutes.
  11. Serve the Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari as a part of a meal or eat like a salad.

Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari - Moong Dal and Grated Carrot Salad from Karnataka