Entries tagged with “bocconcini”.

I prefer chicken or salmon burgers to beef, so I was looking forward to trying these chicken burgers from Canadian Living. I wasn’t disappointed — these are easy to make, hold together well and are moist and flavourful, thanks to the cheese, basil and sun dried tomatoes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the cheeses, buns, breadcrumbs and sun dried tomatoes for additives and preservatives. Genuine parmesan cheese is additive free. I used Tre Stelle bocconcini cheese, 4C panko breadcrumbs, D’Italiano buns and Aurora sun dried tomatoes.

These chicken burgers contain parmesan cheese and sun dried tomatoes

Serve burgers with tomato, basil and bocconcini


4 slices bocconcini cheese (one 4-oz/125 g ball)

1 plum tomato sliced

4 fresh basil leaves

4 hamburger buns


1 lb (454 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 egg

1 tablespoon (15 ml) water

½ onion grated

2 garlic cloves minced

1/3 cup (75 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup (60 ml) dry breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil packed sun dried tomatoes

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) salt and pepper


Patties: In food processor, pulse chicken until coarsely ground; set aside.

In large bowl, beat egg with water; stir in onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper. Mix in chicken. Shape into four ¾ -inch (2 cm) thick patties.

Place patties on greased grill over medium heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until digital thermometer inserted sideways into centre reads 165°F (74°C), 12 to 14 minutes.

Sandwich burgers, Bocconcini, tomato and basil in buns. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

When I saw this recipe in the July 2016 issue of Bon Appetit, I knew I had to make it. Aside from containing so many of my favourite ingredients — roasted red peppers, basil, olives, cheese —it looks absolutely gorgeous. And you can even make it ahead! Bake red pepper halves with anchovies, garlic and basil and then top with a delicious basil oil, cherry tomatoes, cheese and olives. The recipe calls for ricotta but you can use bocconcini or buffalo mozzarella.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the anchovies and cheese have no preservatives added. I used President’s Choice garlic-stuffed green olives, which are additive-free.

Top halved peppers with anchovies, garlic and basil

Roast until tender and slightly charred on the edges

Top with cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese, basil oil and serve


4 red bell peppers, halved, seeds and ribs removed

6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 cup (250 ml) basil leaves, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons (30 ml) plus ⅓ cup (75 ml) olive oil

1 pint (500 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved

⅓ cup (75 ml) fresh ricotta

¼ cup (60 ml) pitted small black and/or green olives

Flaky sea salt


Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Place bell peppers, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish and top with anchovies and garlic. Tear ¼ cup (60 ml) basil leaves over top, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) oil. Bake until peppers are tender but still hold their shape and are slightly charred around edges, 35–45 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

Meanwhile, blend remaining ¾ cup (175 ml) basil and remaining ⅓ cup (75 ml) oil in a blender until smooth; season basil oil with kosher salt and black pepper.

Arrange bell peppers on a platter. Top with tomatoes, ricotta, olives, and more basil, then drizzle with basil oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Serves 8.

From the July 2016 issue of Bon Appetit

This recipe from the Barefoot Contessa is one of my favourite pasta salad recipes. Fresh tomatoes, black olives, fresh mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes are tossed with cooked pasta and then dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. Top with grated Parmesan and chopped basil and you have a wonderful side dish or vegetarian lunch.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

It can be difficult to find sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil that do not contain sulfites. You can dry your own, or look for a sulfite-free brand, such as Mediterranean Organic. Check the ingredients on the olives and fresh mozzarella. I use Pilaros olives (available at Costco) and Tre Stella bocconcini cheese. Red wine vinegar can contain sulfites – I used Eden Organic brand. Unico capers are additive free. Make sure the Parmesan does not contain colour.

Fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, olives and fresh mozzarella

Pasta with sun-dried tomatoes


½ pound (225 g) fusilli (spirals) pasta

Kosher salt

Olive oil

1 pound (454 g) ripe tomatoes, medium-diced

¾ cup (188 ml) good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced

1 pound (454 g) fresh mozzarella, medium-diced

6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:

5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons (90 ml) good olive oil

1 garlic clove, diced

1 teaspoon (5 ml) capers, drained

2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon (3 ml) freshly ground black pepper

1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup (250 ml) packed basil leaves, julienned


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well. Serves 6-8.

From the Barefoot Contessa

Insalata Caprese is one of my favourite dishes, so when I saw this recipe in an ad for chicken I thought I’d try it. It’s very simple—mix oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest in a baking dish, add thin chicken breasts, top with stock, tomato, cheese slices and basil and bake. It looks great, tastes great and is ready in 30 minutes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use fresh lemon juice and a stock with all-natural ingredients, such as Imagine brand. The fresh mozzarella, also known as bocconcini, should have no colour or preservatives. I use Tre Stella brand.

Place tomato slices and cheese on top of chicken before baking

I served the Caprese Chicken with noodles and broccolini


1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

¼ tsp (1 ml) ground black pepper

1 large clove garlic, minced

Zest of 1 lemon, divided

1 tsp (5 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 lb. (454 g) skinless boneless chicken breasts, pounded thinly

¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock or water

5 large tomato slices

4 medium balls of fresh mozzarella cheese, each sliced into 3 pieces

5 fresh basil leaves, chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix together oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and ½ the lemon zest in a 9 x 13 inch (3.5 L) ovenproof baking dish. Add chicken, turning to coat, and allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour stock over chicken and top with tomato, cheese slices and basil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 170 degrees F (77 degrees C). Sprinkle with remaining lemon zest before serving. Serves 3-4.

From mapleleafprime.ca