Recipe by Mario
"Bite-size balls of fresh mozzarella, known as bocconcini, make up this great salad. If possible, seek out mozzarella di bufala, made from water buffalo's milk; a specialty of central and southern Italy, it is a softer, creamier mozzarella than that made from cow's milk."
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bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella balls)
cherry tomatoes, halved
chopped green bell pepper
Belgian endive leaves
coarsely chopped arugula, stems included
1 1/2 tablespoons
fresh lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
I changed this recipe quite a bit for our tastes, but then it was WONDERFUL!! I used the same base of olive oil and lemon juice, then added grape tomatoes and garlic. I made it much simpler and it was great!
This was somewhat of a letdown for me. With all these quality ingredients I expected something remarkable. Fresh arugula, Belgian endive, cherry tomatoes, basil and fresh bocconcini, all tossed with a light, lemon vinaigrette. I and my taste buds were really enthusiastic. It was beautiful and certainly inviting. Lots of texture and great eye appeal. Two things, however, disappointed me – I love light vinaigrettes but this one fell flat. It needed a boost – I added a dab of Dijon and some fresh minced garlic. And I wouldn’t THINK of using as much bocconcini called for – half a pound of cheese in a salad for two people? I used far less, probably 3-4 bocconcini balls per serving. Finally, I do like basil but I didn’t care for it here – it overpowered rather than enhanced the salad. In hindsight, I’d have left it out. So, perk up the dressing, go easy on the bocconcini and save the basil for another use and we’ve got something here.
We really enjoyed this, but I made a couple of significant changes. I have yet to find an authentic Italian deli here that sells fresh bocconcini, and the prepackaged, commercial stuff is flavorless, so instead I used crumbled goat cheese, which is nice and creamy. Because goat cheese is tangier than mozzarella, I subbed balsamic vinegar and a touch of stevia (an herbal sweetener) for lemon juice. Combined with the arugula, this made for a very flavorful salad. I omitted the celery, doubled the remaining veggies, sliced the endive, and added the vinegar and oil to taste. A very nice combination of flavors and textures!
Left out the celery and the endive. Used arugula just as it was and didn't chop. Upped the amount of fresh basil and used strips of green and red pepper instead of just chopping the green pepper up. Make sure you use a good quality of extra virgin olive oil. Pretty colors but I think I will just stick with traditional insalata caprese salad next time.
Absolutely delightful, clean, fresh and very easy to prepare.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil. Voila! Lemon dressing is light and clean. This salad looks great, is colorful and would go with pork, veal or fish and a nice glass of pinot...Enjoy.
The store didn't have endive so I had to omit that. I'm not a big fan of raw bell pepper but it worked really well in this. Think I'll try it with goats cheese next time. Thanks!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/4 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 321
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