Grilled zucchini with stracciatella is a simple dish that’s great as a starter or part of an antipasti. It’s inspired by a dish I had at Bert’s at Newport – the first time I ever tasted stracciatella. This wonderful southern Italian cheese is shredded mozzarella mixed with cream – it’s what’s inside burrata and is absolutely delicious. The name ‘stracciatella’ comes from the Italian ‘straccio’ meaning to tear or rip; stracci (rag) pasta has the same origin. In fact ‘stracciatella’ can refer to three different foods: vanilla ice cream with shreds of chocolate through it, chicken broth with threads of egg through it, and the cheese we’re talking about here made from shredded mozzarella, which hails from Puglia. The best Australian stracciatella is made by Vannella Cheese in Marrickville, Sydney, and is available around the country (see their website for stockists). Since we’re in southern Italy, I enjoy a glass of fiano with this dish, an Italian grape variety from Campania that’s growing well in Australia’s warmer regions. Try d’Arenberg’s The Sun Surfer from McLaren Vale, with lots of tropical fruit notes and a juicy finish it’s perfect for a long relaxing al fresco lunch. With the grill on, you could easily add some vibrant grilled zucchini flowers to the table (see video below).
Serves 10 as part of an antipasto
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