Friday 3 February 2012

Mozzarella Ischia (Hot Mozzarella with Basil, Tomatoes, Olives and Red Peppers

From Elisa Celli’s Italian Light Cooking, Elisa Celli, Prentice Hall Press, 1987.

This was little more than a salad plate that you carefully put together. However I was rather intrigued with the idea of hot mozzarella so I got to work and made the dish.

I have made other recipes, mostly pastas, from this particular book. They have usually been worth the effort but there have been large sections of the book that I’ve overlooked so I’ve taken it again from my cookery book shelf to delve into it once more.

Before I did much more with the salad I roasted the red capsicum. Roasted capsicum is one of my favourite salad ingredients. I just dislike the slimy task of skinning the roasted vegetable. It’s not difficult to do but just a little unpleasant. Once done, however, it was sliced into strips.

The dressing was made from tossing together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped parsley, some Italian herb seasoning and lemon juice. I added salt and pepper and then removed the garlic.

The mozzarella was placed in the oven for 5 minutes then placed on the serving plate. It had warmed through and started to melt a little.

The capsicum strips were placed across the mozzarella and the other ingredients arranged around it: chopped red onions, black olives, tomatoes sliced into sections and basil leaves. The dressing was then drizzled over.

It made an attractive-looking plate that was fun to nibble from. Heating the mozzarella made it a little easier to cut on the plate and it went really well with the capsicum strips.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

As some of these books may be out of print if anyone would like a particular recipe, email me ( and I’ll send an abbreviated version. Of course, the whole book would be better; it’s loaded with other goodies.

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