Appetizers and Snacks, Gluten-free, Vegetarian

Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels

Loreto July 27, 2017

Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels  are not only beautiful to look at but are so delicious to eat. Housing a creamy, soft Tre Stelle® Bocconcini with a hint of Genovese pesto all wrapped in beautiful zucchini slices. Making this parcel a great choice whether you’re entertaining, want to start lunch or dinner off on a healthy note, or if you want an indulgent hot appetizer.

Hint: I dipped it in tempura and deep fried it, absolutely divine. 

Song of the day: “Gift Shop” by The Tragically Hip.

ZUCCHINI PESTO AND BOCCONCINI PARCELS

Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels are just the thing to please both the health nuts of your family and those who are lovers of more indulgent foods.

Sponsored by  Tre Stelle®, producers of this fine Bocconcini cheese.

 

 

We were asked by Tre Stelle® to create a unique and creative recipe using their delicious Bocconcini. Always wanting to use seasonal ingredients I was thinking of what vegetable I would want to use and came back with a vegetable that is in bountiful supply.

Zucchini are coming in the garden strong and usually in abundance. What do you do with all those zucchini?  Well when we were approached by Tre Stelle® wanting something creative, I imagined this parcel with the thought of fresh or fried to deliciousness!

When thinking of Bocconcini we almost always think of a Caprese salad. Slices of fresh Bocconcini and tomatoes with good quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. That says summer, doesn’t it? Well, move over Caprese because there is another hit in town. Zucchini  Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels bringing it to you in two ways to keep it interesting and not sacrificing taste.

ZUCCHINI PESTO AND BOCCONCINI PARCELS

You may be wondering what exactly is Bocconcini?  Well, only the best thing since sliced bread, just kidding. I just happen to be a big fan. Bocconcini are these small almost egg size morsels, not perfect by all means but generally the same size, although I have seen them as big as an ostrich egg. I prefer them a bit small, like the Tre Stelle® ones. They’re really tasty. They are made with 100% pure, fresh milk. Bocconcini originated from Naples they say and back then only used milk from water buffalos. It is a semi-soft white and rindless unripened cheese that absorbs flavor well and is so moist which makes it perfect for melting. The Tre Stelle® Bocconcini is exactly this! Small, beautiful white morsels of cheese that are so fresh and creamy. I don’t use anything else for pizza, or pasta al forno.

Zucchini  Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels: let’s put these beauties together!

Because we are wrapping the Bocconcini in zucchini we need to get some nice thin slivers so it will be easy to bend and curve around the cheese. The pesto is from our 4 part series on pesto. Genovese is the one we used and it will add such a wonderful fresh flavor to the already magnificent Bocconcini.

ZUCCHINI PESTO AND BOCCONCINI PARCELS

I have one pet peeve when it comes to making sure these parcels don’t come apart. Toothpicks! Which I think could be potentially dangerous. Also, using twine. I know sometimes it cannot be avoided but if it can and imagination and creativity are knocking at your door, the perfect organic solution can be found. I had one of those ah ha moments thinking why not use those lovely deliciously tasting chive strands to hold it together? Best part, it is edible and not only that but looks so cute and enticing, don’t you think?

ZUCCHINI PESTO AND BOCCONCINI PARCELS

When I see this parcel I am feeling Japanese influence. It looks so simple and perfect, zen like. The flavor screaming freshness and flavor, texture and taste. The zucchini nice and light, fine with that moist yet wonderful taste. The chive giving some depth to the zucchini and when you get into the nitty gritty of the baby you find the pot of gold, or maybe milk, lol. The cheese is creamy and soft, with that vibrant pesto bringing in garlic, pine nuts, basil, Parmigiano Reggiano to the flavor train. So healthy and visually stunning. Truly proud of this one.

But my creative mind was still working and I had another thought. Maybe not the healthiest of thoughts, but I imagined this dipped in a light tempura batter then fried. And all I could think of was, Wow! With a capital. The crispiness that would be achieved, the juiciness of the zucchini steamed in that pocket and that pesto bathing the melted Bocconcini would be absolutely mouth watering. So I fired up the fryer and into the oil some of these went.

ZUCCHINI PESTO AND BOCCONCINI PARCELS

Look at that beautiful color! Golden and textured. I tap it with a fork and it sings crunchy and tender. Can’t wait to break these open and reveal that wonderful pesto covered melted Tre Stelle® Bocconcini.

ZUCCHINI PESTO AND BOCCONCINI PARCELS

Just look how beautiful these Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels are! That cheese just oozing out and that pesto painting the cheese like an artist to his or her canvas. The zucchini steamed perfectly with just a slight crunch and those juices dripping all over the cheese and pesto. The chive strings intact deliver that oh so familiar fresh herb hit. The crust so golden and nutty, you can hear that sound as you break or bite in. These are heaven in just a few small bites and one will not do!

ZUCCHINI PESTO AND BOCCONCINI PARCELS

Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 parcels

Serving Size: 4 servings

Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 8 Tre Stelle® Bocconcini
  • 1/4 cup Genovese pesto
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 16 sprigs fresh chives
  • For the deep fried zucchini parcels:
  • 4 Tbsp tempura flour
  • 12 cups cold water for batter
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups salad greens for garnish

Instructions

    Parcels:
  1. Wash and dry zucchini.
  2. With a mandala slice zucchini lengthwise into thin 2 mm slices.
  3. If you do not have a mandala you can use a very sharp fillet knife.
  4. Place zucchini in a cross pattern, and place a tsp of the Genovese pesto into the center where zucchini meet.
  5. Take the small bocconcini and place on top of pesto.
  6. Take ends of zucchini one slice at a time and close around bocconcini.
  7. Take a tooth pic and through top of parcel holding them together.
  8. Then take a strand of fresh chive and wrap and tie at top very carefully as to no break the chive.
  9. On the other side do the same, creating a parcel like appearance.
  10. Place on a dish tied side down, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  11. If you want them raw all you have to do is place some salad greens on a small plate.
  12. Place the 2 parcels tied side up.
  13. Ready to serve.
  14. Deep-frying:
  15. In a medium bowl mix some of the cold water into the tempura flour.
  16. Add the water a little at a time bringing the batter to a semi runny consistency.
  17. The batter should come off a spoon easily.
  18. In a wok heat up vegetable oil to 360° F.
  19. Place parcels into hot oil carefully and let fry for about 1 minute.
  20. Turn parcel over and cook for an additional minute or until golden brown.
  21. You can do 4 parcels at a time.
  22. Do not put too many into the wok as this would bring the oil level quite high, also the oil will cool too much.
  23. Take out of oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil.
  24. Place some salad greens on a small dish.
  25. Put the parcels on top of the greens.
  26. Ready to serve.
  27. Enjoy!

I like the raw parcels just on their own. This is simple and organic at its best. I served the fried parcels on a bed of fresh garden greens, a little healthy to offset the not so healthy, lol. The parcels were enjoyed by our family and will definitely be the star of an appetizer course in the future for any of our gatherings.

If you are looking for something interesting, creative and unique and you have some zucchini in the fridge, get to your local market that carries Tre Stelle®, and pick up some of their Bocconcini. Give the gift of giving and get to putting these Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels together. Your guests will be pleased with the gift of love and food!

ZUCCHINI PESTO AND Bocconcini Parcels

And now, the contest!

We’re excited to share this recipe with you, also because of an exciting contest: The Great Canadian Cheese Sweepstakes. All you need to do to enter is simply buy Tre Stelle® Feta or Bocconcini. You can find them in the grocery store. There will be a code on the lid of the tub. Just click here to enter the code for your chance to win.

A total of three Grand Prizes consisting of a Trip for two to Niagara Falls to the Tre Stelle Cooking School for three days. The trips include airfare, airport transfers, hotel, all meals, & the Niagara experience for the three days. Value approximately $5000.00 dependent on point of departure.

And that is not all: 150 secondary prizes will also be awarded.  All valued $50.00. They include:

  • 5 piece Paderno Knife set with universal block
  • 24 cm Nature Trust Ceramic Fry Pan
  • 20 piece Souris Cutlery Set
  • 39 cm Paderno Roasting Pan
  • Paderno spiral slicer
  • Tre Stelle Cheese Vouchers

We would love for one of our readers to win one of those amazing prizes. So, be sure to enter. Contest runs through to October 15, 2017.

ZUCCHINI PESTO AND BOCCONCINI PARCELS

This post is sponsored by Tre Stelle®. We’ve been compensated but, as always, all opinions are our own.

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18 Comments

  • Reply bergetrk July 27, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    These are adorable! I love the little packages filled with creamy cheese! What a wonderful appetizer!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 28, 2017 at 11:52 pm

      Thank you Bergetrk, we agree with you such beautiful packages, it still surprises me when I look at them, thinking did we create these? Creativity is an amzing thing when the door opens releasing its magic, and yes let’s not forget that melted mozzarella always a great appetite pleaser.
      Have a stupendous weekend!
      Loreto

  • Reply Yang @ Yang's Nourishing Kitchen July 28, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Oh my! Zucchini parcels are trendy right now. But I have got to say yours look the best of all with these chive tie-ups. No chives right now, so I will have to look around the garden to see if I can find another herb as string instead, cause I can’t wait until next grocery trip to make some!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 28, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      Hi Yang, love your comment and thank you for boosting our confidence. As for the chive tie ups, I think you could use parsley stems, or even leek sor green onion cut long and narrow. As I mentioned in the post I used a tooth pic to hold the parcel together and used two chives criss crossing to tie them together. When that was done I took the tooth pic out. It worked really well and want to share that for the success of this appetizer. Nicoletta and I can’t wait for you to try these. Would love to hear about your experience with this recipe.
      Happy Saturday!
      loreto

  • Reply Denise from UrbnSpice July 28, 2017 at 11:53 am

    These are so cute! I love them and could just see my former executive chef loving them for a ladies luncheon. Well done!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 28, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      Hi Denise, I truly can see these at a ladies luncheon. To me especially raw gave me a sense of the simplistic nature of japanese art, add in a little embelishment of boconccini and you have a great infusion of culture and taste. Thanks a whole bunch for commenting.
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      Loreto

  • Reply kellyohnona July 28, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    how pretty is this! And I love this mozzarella brand! such a good idea can’t wait to try!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 28, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Kelly, yes a great brand of Boconccini. I was so surprized first by the juiciness of the zucchini and then the flavor of the boconccini infused with that homemade pesto. I want these again real soon. These are definately keepers in the appetizer category. Thank you fgor you comment, we really appreciate your time!
      Happy cooking!
      Loreto

  • Reply Natalie Browne July 28, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    These look beautiful and sound delicious. using the chives to tie them up makes them even more enticing. Super creative!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 28, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      Thank you Natalie, these were such a pleasure to create and then eat, lol. a great idea that suffices the ones who love raw and the ones who don’t. I kept thinking about how I wanted to hold them together and right in front of me was our huge plant of chives. A real no brainer, lol.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Have a great week end!
      Loreto

  • Reply diversivore July 29, 2017 at 9:47 am

    These look AMAZING. I’m serious here, I’m so impressed. I was already smitten when I saw how beautifully and lovingly the little parcels were wrapped. I see a lot of wrapped appetizer morcels, but you guys put these together so carefully and perfectly – it really makes them look all that much better. But then… then you FRIED them, and I swooned. I need a Victorian fainting couch here. They look absolutely incredible, and I feel like I can practically taste that gooey and incredible melting bocconcini oozing out of every crispy bite. So good. I’m going to have to pick up some bocconcini some time soon (and I’ll definitely be sure to enter the contest when I do!). Cheers!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 30, 2017 at 1:22 am

      Hi Sean, I love the part of fainting and needing a victorian couch, lol. So funny. What an amazing comment, too kind.You described it perfectly, crispy bites with cheese oozing out, not forgetting the pesto that was smoozing the fresh mozzarella. That was our experience. We are quite proud of this one. When Nicoletta had the idea of a parcel and I added a few things to it, we didn’t really know what to expect. We were in the zen zone when we had them at the raw stage. Then of course I had an ah ha moment with all the choir and all and decided can’t pass this idea up, so into some tempura and hot oil. The crispness was beautiful along with the color, but the taste testing proved to be something taking us to the promise land! Thank you Sean for the wonderful comment, always a pleasure to read.
      Have a great Sunday
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Reply Amanda July 30, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Oh wow! These little guys look amazing. I love how they are fried-up in tempura so the zucchini gets crispy and the cheese gets all melted. These would make a great party appetizer!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 31, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Hi Amanda, I am so glad you love these little gems of parcels of goodness. Yes they were so crispy and that boccocini and pesto combination all melted and goey and flavorful was amazing. I can have these any time of the week. Thanks for commenting. We so love hearing from people and also responding.
      Have a great week!
      Loreto

  • Reply Dana Sandonato August 1, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Well well, look at THESE little presents! I always use boccocini in salads, and I’ve always wondered if they’d get melty when heated or if they’d somewhat keep their form. They seem sturdy. But good to know these little balls of heaven do, indeed, turn into melty madness. I love these parcels so much and would probably eat my weight’s worth!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto August 1, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      Hi Dana, bocconcini are great for melting. we use it for pizza or even in a nice pasta al forno. I prefer it much more than the processed mozzarella. They were great in these parcels. We had put some pesto in with the bocconcini which just added to the flavor of the melted cheese and also the juices of the zucchini. Thanks a bunch for stopping by.
      Loreto

  • Reply Ginger Wroot August 7, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Oh my, these are gorgeous and so creative! Perfect for my low carb diet. Pinned, and thank you! –G

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto August 7, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Hi Ginger, thanks so much for you comment. These are perfect for low carb diets, and so packed with hidden gems of flavor. They are a lot of fun to make and much more fun to eat.
      Enjoy!
      Loreto

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