Mozzarella with chilli-spiked pesto

Create these pretty antipasto platters to delight your guests as they arrive for cocktails
By Angela Nilsen
Mozzarella with chilli-spiked pesto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus marinating
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 140 g whole roasted red peppers, from a jar, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 x 125 g ball buffalo mozzarella
  • 4 slices proscuitto, di parma, fat trimmed if wished
  • mixed salad leaves, such as rocket and chard
  • handful small basil, leaves

For the pesto dressing

  • 1-2 small red chilli, depending on the heat you like it
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped basil
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

Tips and Suggestions

To prepare in advance, the peppers and dressing can be prepared several hours ahead. The mozzarella can be wrapped in the proscuitto, covered in cling film and kept in the fridge for 1-2 hours ahead.

Method

1. Tear the peppers into pieces and lay them in a shallow dish. Scatter over the sliced garlic, pour over the olive oil and season with freshly grated black pepper. Sprinkle the small basil leaves over the top and leave to marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad.

2. For the pesto dressing: halve the chillies lengthways then remove the ribs and seeds. For extra heat, leave a few seeds in. Finely chop the chillies. Put them in a small bowl with the chopped basil and garlic. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice then season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Cut the mozzarella ball into quarters. Wrap a slice of proscuitto around each piece of mozzarella.

4. To serve, arrange a few salad leaves on each plate. Pile the marinated roasted peppers on top. Sit the mozzarella wrapped with proscuitto in the middle and spoon over a little of the pepper marinade. Drizzle some of the pesto dressing around and scatter the pine nuts over. Serve any remaining dressing separately.

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