Monday, February 19, 2007

Spinach and radish salad with mozzarella rolled in breadcrumbs

Spinach and radish salad with mozzarella rolled in breadcrumbs

I’ve always loved vegetables – as a kid, I used to ask for a tomato or raw carrots as my afternoon snack and I would eat a huge bowl of watercress or arugula watching TV with my mom – I was a weird child, you might think. :)

Surprisingly, this is only the second salad I publish here.

I’d been keeping this recipe on my “to do” list – which is so big it’s actually a folder - for such a long time and the day I decided to make it I couldn’t find raddichio. Those are the times when I hate living in a small town.
Oh, and the anchovies I forgot at the supermarket. :S

This salad is divine and I intend to make it again with all the original ingredients, which I’ll post in case anyone wants to give it a try.

I got this recipe from my dear friend Valentina - go check her blog and see the wonderful things she's been cooking; I'm sure you'll tag a bunch of recipes. :)

Spinach and radish salad with mozzarella rolled in breadcrumbs

3 radishes
1 radicchio – use only the inside leaves
100g spinach – if the leaves are too big, tear them with your fingers
black olives

50g anchovies – drain them and set the oil aside
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
cracked black pepper

Mozzarella balls:
160g breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons basil leaves, torn in small pieces
1 teaspoon lime zest
4 large mozzarella balls, torn in pieces – I used small mozzarella balls I had at home
seasoned wheat flour – I used all purpose flour seasoned with a little salt
1 egg, lightly beaten*
cracked black pepper

For the dressing: place the anchovies, lime juice and garlic in a food processor and whiz until you have a uniform mixture. If you don’t own a food processor, chop the anchovies in small pieces and place the 3 ingredients in a bowl, mixing well with a whisk.
Start adding the oil from the anchovies can and the olive oil, drop by drop, then in a very fine steady stream – the mixture will get thick. Add 1 tablespoon hot water, little by little, to thin the dressing and season with cracked black pepper. Set aside.

To make the mozzarella balls: place the breadcrumbs in a plate, add the parsley, basil, lime zest, salt and cracked black pepper – mix well.
Place the seasoned flour in another place.
Coat every mozzarella piece with the seasoned flour, shake them to remove any excess. Dip them into the egg mixture then into crumb mixture and coat them well.
Place the mozzarella pieces onto a baking sheet and leave it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC if you’re baking the mozzarella balls – that’s what I did; if you decide to fry them, heat 1cm of vegetable oil in a small saucepan, over medium heat.

While the mozzarella is in the oven, prepare the salad: slice the radishes very finely and place them in a bowl with iced water. Set aside.
Place the radicchio in a salad bowl, top with the spinach leaves, the radishes (drained) and the olives.
When the mozzarella balls are ready - bake them for 15 minutes and turn them in half the time to get an even golden color - add them to the salad.
Drizzle it with the dressing or serve it in a sauce boat.

* you can use Dijon mustard instead of the eggs – that’s what I used.


T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Considering what some kids snack on when they are watching TV, it sounds like you were raised in good health, with a healthy appreciation for good food! Love the idea of baking the mozzerella balls.

Stella said...

Your salad is just what I need after the Chinese New Year. Something refreshing & light!
Take care Pat!

wheresmymind said...

This looks like it could be a spicay salad

Freya said...

So pretty! I love the little mozarella balls with the radish!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

So good, looks just right. The mozzarella balls look so fun in the breadcrumbs and they're baked! Nice job.

pom d'api said...

Your salad it's just fabulous!! I love mozarelle

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Such a beautiful salad! One question: how long did you bake the mozzarella balls?

Valentina said...

Something else we have in common: love for salads. I absolutely adored this one and I am glad you did it too.

Patricia Scarpin said...

T.W., my mom was very concerned about these things - and back then, at least here in Brazil, it was not commom to talk about healthy food, calories, etc.
The good thing is she acted in a way I ate so many good things without being forced to - I ate them because I liked them. :)

Valentina, my dear, I hope you're enjoying yourself on the break! Tks for stopping by!

Jeff, I guess you're right. :)

Freya, thank you! It was hard not to eat all the mozzarella balls before adding them to the salad. :)

Tanna, thanks, dear! As much as I like fried food, I always prefer to bake it - it's a lot healthier, right?

Hi, Candy, thank you! I love mozzarella, too!

Lydia, tks for pointing that out - I've addded this info to the post.

Tina, my dear, your food is a constant inspiration to me.

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous salad... it reminds me that Spring is right around the corner!

Toni said...

This salad looks great! Love the mozzarella in the bread crumbs, baked. I wouldn't have thought of baking it.

Like you, I used to snack out of the fridge rather than the pantry. I think I was part rabbit - carrots and celery were favorites!

Alanna Kellogg said...

Very pretty!

Veron said...

what a refreshing salad! Hmmn... yeh..don't forget the anchovies.

Anonymous said...

This sounds wonderful, Patricia. I came to love vegetables late in life--maybe because the most used utensil when I was growing up was a can opener. You mentioned arugula, a real favorite of mine for salads--or to wilt in a pasta dish. I absolutely love that in many places around the world, it's called rocket.

Anonymous said...

That was really awesome!!Jessica

Patricia Scarpin said...

Kristen, thank you! Spring is the most beautiful season of the year, in my opinion.

Toni, tks, dear! I have to be thankful for having grown with good healthy habits. And you too, right?

Allana, tks for stopping by!

Veron, you're right - very refreshing and colorful, too!

Terry, arugula is my favorite, too - tart, refreshing, revigorating. And I love the name "rocket", too - Donna Hay uses this word.

Jessica, thanks for visiting my blog!

Linda said...

this sounds delicious. i would have never thought to cover the cheese in breadcrumbs! brilliant.

Unknown said...

All your recipes look wonderful, Patricia, but this one really speaks to me!

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