Bocconcini & Pickled Cherry Skewers | culture: the word on cheese
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Bocconcini & Pickled Cherry Skewers

Bocconcini & Pickled Cherry Skewers

Leslie Orlandini
Bite-size bocconcini (mozzarella balls) and quick-pickled fruit make perfect hors d’oeuvres to serve with cocktails. You’ll need about two dozen 4- or 5-inch bamboo skewers for this recipe. Plan ahead to make the pickled cherries, as they’ll need to sit in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours before use.



  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 strips orange zest
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound red cherries


  • 1 pint bocconcini mozzarella 1-ounce balls
  • ¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 24 medium-size fresh basil leaves washed
  • 24 ½- inch-thick toasted baguette slices


  • PICKLED CHERRIES: In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, mustard seed, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • While pickling liquid comes to a boil, de-stem and pit cherries (keep whole) using an olive or cherry pitter. Do this over a bowl to catch juices. Discard pits and combine collected juice and cherries in a glass or ceramic jar or bowl.
  • When liquid comes to a boil, pour over cherries. Let come to room temperature, then place a piece of plastic or small plate on the surface of the liquid, to keep cherries submerged. Refrigerate, storing 8 hours to 1 week.
  • SKEWERS: With a slotted spoon, transfer bocconcini mozzarella from container to a plate. Using the same spoon, transfer cherries from pickling liquid to a separate plate. Cut prosciutto slices in quarters.
  • Pair each pickled cherry with a piece of prosciutto and each mozzarella ball with a basil leaf. Skewer one of each set. Rest each skewer on a baguette slice and serve immediately.

Stylist Leslie Orlandini

Leslie Orlandini is a chef and an accomplished food stylist in print and television. She has been nominated for both James Beard and Emmy awards and is a veteran of thousands of cooking shows and segments. You can learn more about her through her website:

Photographer Mark Ferri

Mark Ferri is a graduate of Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. He believes in a simple, direct approach that captures the natural beauty and appetite appeal of food. Mark celebrates a life-long passion for food by frequently exploring new restaurants in New York and in Europe, and loves to cook and entertain at his home in the Hudson Valley. Learn more about Mark on his website: