Bite-size balls of fresh mozzarella, known as bocconcini make up this great salad. If possible, seek out mozzarella di bufala, made from water buffalo's milk; a specialty of central and southern Italy, it is a softer, creamier mozzarella than that made from cow's milk.
I changed this recipe quite a bit for our tastes, but then it was WONDERFUL!! I used the same base of olive oil and lemon juice, then added grape tomatoes and garlic. I made it much simpler and it was great! - 21 Oct 2004 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This was somewhat of a letdown for me. With all these quality ingredients I expected something remarkable. Fresh arugula, Belgian endive, cherry tomatoes, basil and fresh bocconcini, all tossed with a light, lemon vinaigrette. I and my taste buds were really enthusiastic. It was beautiful and certainly inviting. Lots of texture and great eye appeal. Two things, however, disappointed me – I love light vinaigrettes but this one fell flat. It needed a boost – I added a dab of Dijon and some fresh minced garlic. And I wouldn’t THINK of using as much bocconcini called for – half a pound of cheese in a salad for two people? I used far less, probably 3-4 bocconcini balls per serving. Finally, I do like basil but I didn’t care for it here – it overpowered rather than enhanced the salad. In hindsight, I’d have left it out. So, perk up the dressing, go easy on the bocconcini and save the basil for another use and we’ve got something here. - 09 Jul 2011 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
We really enjoyed this, but I made a couple of significant changes. I have yet to find an authentic Italian deli here that sells fresh bocconcini, and the prepackaged, commercial stuff is flavorless, so instead I used crumbled goat cheese, which is nice and creamy. Because goat cheese is tangier than mozzarella, I subbed balsamic vinegar and a touch of stevia (an herbal sweetener) for lemon juice. Combined with the arugula, this made for a very flavorful salad. I omitted the celery, doubled the remaining veggies, sliced the endive, and added the vinegar and oil to taste. A very nice combination of flavors and textures! - 26 Mar 2008 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)