Marinated bocconcini

  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 whole cloves garlic, crushed
  • Crushed red chilli flakes
  • Salt
  • 1.8kg bocconcini (small mozzarella balls, about 5cm in diameter)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Special equipment: 4 475ml mason jars, sterilized, procedure follows*

Serves: 1.9 litres

For the marinated bocconcini:
1) To each mason jar add 3 basil leaves, 3 thyme sprigs, 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 1 clove garlic, a pinch red chilli flakes and salt, to taste.

2) Fill the jar half way up with extra-virgin olive oil and add 10 to 12 drained bocconcini balls. Top off with more extra-virgin olive oil. Cover and seal the jar. Repeat with the other 3 jars. Turn the jars over several times to incorporate the flavours.

3) Refrigerate for at least 3 days before serving. Lasts for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

For the sterilisation of the jars:
1) Properly-handled sterilised equipment will keep preserved foods in good condition for years. Sterilising jars is the first step of preserving foods.

2) Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving jars are topped with a glass, plastic, or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for preserving, as they vacuum seal when processed.

3) To sterilise jars, before filling with jams, pickles, or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

4) Use tongs when handling the hot sterilised jars, to move them from boiling water. Be sure the tongs are sterilised too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

5) As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

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