Our Summer Strawberry Salad is perfect for outdoor barbeques and a stunner to serve at Christmas celebrations as well. The sweetness of strawberries matched with creamy bocconcini and drizzled with tangy aged balsamic vinegar is a match made in heaven.
Why I Love Summer Strawberry Salad with Baby Bocconcini And Rocket
It’s a stunner! Really. The contrasting glorious reds of strawberries against the snow white bocconcini just looks amazing together. And we would not share a summer salad recipe if it wasn’t delicious too. This is a crowd-pleaser.
I definitely created this salad with festive gatherings in mind. Phenie and I have already chat about this many times before, even the low key catch ups require planning.
It is the “little things” that somehow take more time than we anticipate – like deciding on the nibbles with pre-dinner drinks or the nibbles with post-dinner drinks (HA, we do like to eat!) So to have a simple, no fuss go-to Christmas salad recipe is perfect.
The sweetness of strawberries matched with creamy bocconcini is a delicious companion for roast chicken or barbeque meats. The added zing of aged balsamic vinegar helps cut through the rich savoury dishes often served.
This easy summer salad recipe is definitely one to add to your summer Christmas lunch ideas.
Which Fruits To Add In A Savoury Salad?
As the weather warms up, we love seeing all the summer fruits popping up in our local stores. Berries are definitely a firm favourite in our home.
The kids are happy to eat them by the bucket load. I also have a constant supply of frozen berries on hand to keep berry munching all year round.
And because we adore berries, I do love to include them in my salads. This keeps the kiddos happy but also adds a refreshing taste to the usual green leaf salad.
My summer strawberry salad is perfect for summer barbeques and a stunner to serve at Christmas and festive gatherings as well. The sweet yet savoury flavours pairs well with many roast meats or as an invigorating appetiser.
Other than berries, there are many other fruits you can add to a savoury salad. Good ol’ apples and pears adds crunch, whilst citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit delivers juicy sweetness to salads.
Watermelons are also very popular for easy summer salads. You have to try our Yellow Watermelon Salad with Mint.
Stone fruits like peaches and nectarines also make simple additions to pep up green leafy salads. Our Grilled Apricot Salad with Prosciutto is a classic example.
You will be surprised by the delicious combinations of fruit and savoury ingredients.
What Goes Well with Strawberries?
Strawberries and cream! How could we go pass the classic combination of milky cream poured over fresh sweet strawberries?
It’s even made a name for itself at annual Wimbledon Tennis Championships. After waiting in queue from 4am at the All England Lawn Tennis Club to get a Wimbledon ground ticket one year, we could not end the day without trying a tub. Delicious.
But of course, there are many other delicious combinations with strawberries. And some you may be pleasantly surprised by. Pairing strawberries with other classic sweet flavours such as chocolate, apples, blueberries, peaches and vanilla is expected.
But have you tried more savoury notes such as basil, mint, hazelnuts, pistachios and one of my favs, balsamic vinegar?
When opposites attract, they do so well together. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar is a match made in heaven. Sweet, floral notes of strawberries pairs amazingly well with the strong sweet-tang, syrupy flavours of balsamic vinegar.
For some reason, the tartness of balsamic vinegar accentuates the sweetness of strawberries. It’s like throwing some sea salt into chocolate. Strange, I know. But it works.
I prefer using aged balsamic vinegar with strawberries. The ageing process results in a richer and sweeter vinegar that is utterly divine.
What Is the Difference Between Mozzarella and Bocconcini?
For this recipe, I’ve used creamy bocconcini to balance the sweetness of strawberries.
Often you see buffalo mozzarella and bocconcini at the deli and wonder what is the difference. Is there? Not really. Sorry to disappoint. LOL.
Bocconcini translates from Italian as “little mouthfuls” – referring to being round bite sized young mozzarella cheese. Very similar to buffalo mozzarella but the taste is slightly more mild and less creamy.
It is a semi-soft cheese made traditionally from milk from water buffaloes but now most commonly made from cow’s milk. Bocconcini is not aged and served fresh.
Bite-sized creamy morsels, we love to add bocconcini to our antipasto platter, tomato salads and homemade pizza toppings.
I generally have to hide them whilst preparing my salads because my daughter would steal them from the bowl and eat them like they were grapes! I would be lucky to have any left.
How to Make Summer Strawberry Salad with Baby Bocconcini And Rocket
How To Make Summer Strawberry Salad
First we start with strawberries, give them a good rinse and shake off any excess water. Trim green tops and slice strawberries in half. If you have large strawberries, I would cut them again into quarters. Set aside for assembly.
Trim radish tops and wash them well. Cut radish into thin slices.
Wash and dry rocket leaves.
How To Make Maple Glazed Walnuts
Easy method to make maple glazed walnuts. You can make these a couple of days in advance and store in an airtight container.
They also make a great addition to an end-of-night cheese platter. Serve with a creamy camembert or blue cheese, pear slices, quince paste and crackers. YUM.
Over medium-high heat, add walnuts, maple syrup and a pinch of salt in a flat pan and roast. Stir frequently until syrup is caramelised and walnuts have gained a golden colour.
This will take about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and spread over tray lined with baking paper. Let them to fully cool before using in the salad.
How to Assemble Strawberry Salad
For entertaining, I would choose a large platter so you can spread the ingredients out and display them proudly. Otherwise a large bowl would work perfectly too.
Start with scattering ¾ of your rocket leaves on the plate, then add strawberries and radishes evenly on the plate.
Drain bocconcini from brine and shake off any excess liquid. Place bocconcini evenly between strawberries and radish slices on the plate.
Then scatter the remaining rocket leaves and maple glazed walnuts on top.
To serve drizzle extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar in a zig-zag motion across the plate.
Whether you are hosting or taking this salad to a party, you can easily have all ingredients cut and prepared, then assemble in 5 minutes when you need to serve. It can’t get any easier.
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Summer Strawberry Salad with Baby Bocconcini And Rocket
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- Wash and trim strawberries, then cut in half or quarters depending on size.
- Wash radishes, trim green tops and thinly slice.
- Wash and dry rocket leaves.
- Add walnuts, maple syrup and a pinch of salt in a small fry pan and fry over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until syrup is caramelised and walnuts have gained a golden colour. Approximately will take about 2-3 minutes.
- On a large plate, scatter ¾ of rocket leaves, then place strawberries and sliced radishes on top.
- Drain bocconcini from brine and scatter between strawberries and radish slices.
- Add the remaining rocket leaves and maple glazed walnuts.
- To serve, drizzle olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar across the salad.
- If you can’t find baby bocconcini, a large buffalo mozzarella ball would suffice too. Just tear up the cheese and scatter on the plate.
- Remove walnuts if prefer nut-free salad. It works without.
- Whether you are hosting or taking this salad to a party, you can easily have all ingredients cut and prepared, then assemble when you need to serve.
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