Tomato Bocconcini Salad Police

I may have mentioned that I adore tomatoes!  It’s called “summer’s bounty” for a reason!

I had lunch with a few friends not long ago and when I saw this on the menu I could almost feel my blood pressure rising.  Am I the only person out here who is driven crazy by this?

There seems to be a mind melt with chefs when it comes to “Tomato Bocconcini Salad”. Think summer people, think in season, red, ripe, luscious, juicy tomatoes with fresh bocconcini! Well that is what we should be getting. BUT oh no….when summer is over we get out of season, tasteless, pink tomatoes; an insult to what should be a lovely SUMMER salad!  It’s wrong…it’s just wrong!

Here’s what should happen. Think end of July to end of August, early September. Now envision the aforementioned in-season tomatoes, sliced and interspersed with the bocconcini on a plate, sprinkled with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then drizzled with the best EVOO you can get your hands on and finally some fresh basil scattered about. YES…this is the only way to properly enjoy the salad. Not in bloody December with those horrible out-of-season things.

I am at a loss as to why in the world any self-respecting chef does not recognize that if they have this item on their menu, it should be there SEASONALLY! If it ain’t in season, it’s ain’t on the menu!

You might be able to get away with roasting some hot-house tomatoes which will intensify their flavour and use those for your salad in off-season, but that’s about it. Of course, the fresh basil will not be as flavorful, but will be OK!

Another thing…I have an Tuscan cookbook that suggests using tomatoes that are still a bit green near the stem for this salad. Hmmm, will have to give that a go next summer. It might just work, the tomato will have just enough acidity to offset the bland milkyness of the bocconcini.

It feels really great to finally get if off my chest!

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  1. Thanks for describing the recipe. I was wondering how it was done. And before you mention that I do not like tomatoes, I had this in a sandwich with pickled artichokes and black forest ham at an Italian funeral last year. Very yummy!

    • Yes, but were you eating in-season tomatoes…that’s the key! BTW I am not a fan of Bocconcini cheese because it should be absolutely straight from the farm just like Burrata! So it loses a lot from Italy to here. That said, glad you enjoyed your sandwich…I think you would have had your socks blown off if we adhered to the theory of fresh, in-season and then really frese cheese too! I remember in Rome everyone was ordering Burrata and we should have because it was coming straight from the source…oh well, lesson learned, next time!

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