I love this salad. It’s a twist on the classic Insalata Caprese which is made up of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil – but instead of ripe plum tomatoes, I’ve candied them by marinating them in olive oil and icing sugar. The resulting tomato tasted somewhat like a cross between a tomato and a watermelon! A tomatermelon!
I also think it’s the happiest looking salad I’ve ever seen. Don’t you agree?
I would like to say it’s my recipe but alas, only a genius like Armando Percuoco from Buon Ricordo could dream up an idea as wonderful as this!
I first had this salad at Buon Ricordo almost a year ago and immediately fell in love with his version. He “candies” the tomatoes by marinating them for 12 hours in a mixture of olive oil and icing sugar. Then he removes them from the olive oil/sugar mixture and places them in caster sugar for another six hours. In total, this salad takes about 18 hours to prepare but practically all of it is just the marination.
The recipe also calls for burrata which costs more than 65 dollars a kilo at DJs. I substituted some bocconcini which costs a quarter of that.
One more great thing about this dish – it’s so versatile – it can be eaten as an entree or dessert!
Bocconcini con Pomodori Dolci (Adapted from Armando Percuoco’s Latest : Buon Ricordo Cook Book)
- 500 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 7 tablespoons icing sugar
- 4 vine ripened tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 450 grams bocconcini or burrata cheese
- Garnish – 40 basil leaves
- Peel the tomatoes by placing a cross on their bottoms using a sharp knife. Drop them in boiling water for 30 seconds and immediately remove. Place in a bowl filled with ice and water. The skins will peel easily after this.
- Mix together the olive oil and icing sugar in a bowl and put in the tomatoes. Leave to marinate for 12 hours. Pick out the tomatoes and put them dry with a paper towel.
- Coat in 4 tablespoons of caster sugar. Place the tomatoes in a covered container and leave for another 6 hours.
- To make the basil sauce , drain the liquid that comes from the tomatoes and place into a blender jar. Add the basil leaves and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt. Blend into a sauce, similar to pesto.