Unlike regular fresh mozzarella, which is on the firmer side, buffalo mozzarella is incredibly moist. In fact, it totally falls apart the minute you slice it. And it’s exactly what makes this dish so mouthwatering.
Here the marvelous cheese is paired with charred broccolini, honey-roasted cherry tomatoes and paper-thin slices of fresh jalapeño. Every forkful of this dish is creamy-yet-light, sweet-and-spicy… and even a bit smoky. In one word: sublime!
Plus it makes for a colorful first course or antipasto that’s super easy to prepare.
Charred broccolini with buffalo mozzarella, honey-roasted grape tomatoes and shaved jalapeños
active time: 40 min
- 1 tablespoon sea salt (to blanch the broccolini)
- 12 oz (340 g) broccolini – trim 1″ from the bottom and leave stems whole (see Viviane’s tip)
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or canola oil)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 8 oz (225 g) buffalo mozzarella (burrata is a good substitute) – cut in 1/2″ slices
- 1/2 recipe honey-roasted cherry or grape tomatoes
- sea salt to taste
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- Meyer lemon oil or extra virgin olive oil as garnish
- Step 1: Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Fill a large heavy-bottomed pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the salt and broccolini. Blanch for 3 to 4 minutes until tender but still crunchy. Scoop the broccolini out with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice-water bath until cool. Once cooled, shake the stems to remove as much water as possible water and place on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Then pat dry to remove any excess water and set aside.
- Cook’s note: The broccolini can be blanched ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- Step 2: Heat a gas, electric or charcoal grill to high heat. Place the broccolini in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss with your hands until the stems and florets are well coated with the oil. Place directly on the grill surface and grill undisturbed until charred. Turn the broccolini over and grill until charred on the other side. Transfer to a tray.
- Step 3: Place the buffalo mozzarella in the center of a serving bowl or platter. Arrange the charred broccolini on one side and the roasted tomatoes on the other side and sprinkle the whole dish with the sea salt. Using a mandoline, slice the jalapeño crosswise in paper-thin slices. Arrange the jalapeño slices on top of the mozzarella. Drizzle the whole dish with the Meyer lemon oil (or olive oil) and serve.
If you wish to use regular broccoli instead of broccolini, use 2 stalks of broccoli and cut the florets in large pieces – this way, they won’t fall through the grill. Follow the directions as per step 1, but blanch the florets for only 2 minutes.
Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.