Italians serve bocconcini–literally, “little mouthfuls”–as an appetizer or part of an antipasto platter. These miniature balls of mozzarella also make perfect picnic food. Marinate them in olive oil with garlic and herbs, then surround with halved red and gold cherry tomatoes, black olives, and good bread. Save this dish for summer when markets offer flavorful, vine-ripened tomatoes; alternatively, omit the tomatoes and olives and serve the marinated bocconcini with toothpicks to accompany cocktails or apéritifs.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound bocconcini, well drained
- 1 tablespoon capers, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher or sea salt
- Halved cherry tomatoes or sliced tomatoes, preferably mixed colors, for garnish
- Black olives, such as Gaeta or Kalamata, for garnish
In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil, garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes over medium heat until the garlic sizzles and just begins to color, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Put the bocconcini in a bowl and cover with the seasoned oil. Add the capers and parsley. Stir to coat. Cover and let stand for several hours, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, season to taste with salt.
Arrange the bocconcini on a serving platter. Surround with the tomatoes and olives. Spoon some of the marinade over the tomatoes.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings and on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving. Nutritional information does not include Garnish.