This recipe can work a number of ways: you can dress the tomato, bocconcini and red onion with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil and then place on the bread and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. The light dressing beforehand gives the cheese some extra flavour and takes the bite out of the red onion. (Another way you can do this is to sit the sliced red onion in a bowl of cold, iced water for about 10 minutes).

Or you can omit the balsamic reduction and just use the light dressing, or you can omit the light dressing and drizzle the tomato and bocconcini with the balsamic reduction and olive oil and then season with salt and freshly ground pepper. The latter works best if you are not using red onion. 

Sometimes it is nice to grill the bread on a griddle pan with a touch of olive oil rather than just toasting. Still rub garlic on both sides regardless of your bread toasting method.

Serves 4

Crusty bread (2 slices each)

8 bocconcini (2 each). Torn into quarters.

4 tomatoes (1 each). Roughly chopped.

small handful of basil (about 8 g). Roughly chopped.

1/8 red onion finely sliced (optional)

1-2 cloves of garlic. Halved.

freshly ground pepper + salt for seasoning


6-8 tsp bal

5-7 tsp oil


1-2 tsp balsamic reduction. See:

Roughly chop or tear the bocconcini into quarters.
Roughly chop the tomatoes.
If using, finely slice the red onion.
Put all into a large bowl and give the ingredients a toss with your hands.

If using the balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing, drizzle into the bowl, toss and lightly season with salt and pepper. Taste and check for flavours.

Slice your bread and toast or grill in the griddle. Once finished,rub the bread on both sides with the garlic while the bread is still hot.

Place your bread on the plates.

Reserving some for service, mix chopped basil with the fresh ingredients. (This is so it doesn't darken.)

Place a large handful of the fresh ingredients onto the bread.
Drizzle with the balsamic reduction and a little olive oil if you desire.
Add the extra basil and sprinkle some freshly ground pepper.

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Published by Zoe Crichton