STRAWBERRY & MOZZARELLA
I love strawberries in savoury applications. Yes their flavour can be very sweet and fruity but when complemented with ingredients that balance these qualities out, they really shine. Their full flavoured sweet and sour flavour is very similiar to that of a tomato, in fact the two share plenty of flavour compounds. Wherever I can get away with it, I’ll happily add strawberries to tomato based dishes or replace them entirely like in this bruschetta.
Seasoning heavily with good quality olive oil, crunchy salt and a good drizzle of balsamic is also a great way of accentuating the flavour of the strawberries and amplifying their savouriness. In this recipe there’s also plenty of creamy mozzarella and salty parmesan to balance out the fruitiness of the strawberries. The low-key stars of the show are the hazelnuts. The nuttiness really helps to balance everything else out and add some warmth to the dish, bringing all of these different flavours together. This combination is delicious as a salad all by itself, but spoon this onto a few slices of nice, crusty bread and you’ve got yourself a really delicious snack.
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STRAWBERRY & BUFFALO MOZZARELLA BRUSCHETTA
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 200 g strawberries
- 200 g buffalo mozzarella
- 1 handful rocket leaves
- 25 g hazelnuts, toasted
- 25 g Parmigiano Reggiano
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- Aged Balsamic, to taste
- Begin by removing the green tops from the strawberries and cutting them in half or quarters to create bite sized pieces.
- Tear the buffalo mozzarella into bite sized pieces by hand. Allow any excess moisture to drain from them by letting them sit on a plate or tray lined with absorbent kitchen paper.
- Cut the hazelnuts into halves or quarters. Alternatively, crush lightly with the back of a clean frying pan or a pestle and mortar.
- Allow the mozzarella and strawberries to come to room temperature and add them to a mixing bowl. Add the picked rucola leaves and the hazelnuts. Season the contents with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
- Place your rustic style bread into a toaster or under the grill of your oven and cook until golden brown.
- Drizzle the bread with extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper and top with the ingredients in your mixing bowl.
- Using a peeler, shave the parmigiano over your bruschetta and drizzle generously with aged balsamic vinegar. Enjoy immediately.
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