Fried Bread Balls and Cheese. Yup. I went there.
Let's get one thing out of the way up front - I travel to eat. Sure I love all the historical and cultural parts that come with travel, but for me the highlight is always the food. I do an insane amount of research before getting on the plane so when I land, I know we're never far from a good meal! I email the hotel concierge, I look at websites, blogs, travel books, instagram tags, you name it, I leave no rock unturned.
So picture this... rewind a few months to when we were in Italy and I'm downstairs with the concierge in Florence going over my intense excel spreadsheet of where we needed to eat. I told him I wanted the real deal, nothing too touristy or overhyped - just really good Italian. He approved my excel spreadsheet (which I had since turned into a map) and then told me I was only missing 1 place. So naturally we rearranged everything so we could go and low and behold it was one of our favorite meals of the trip. Mostly because for appetizers we had FRIED BREAD BALLS. What?!?!?!?! Is this real life?
It was the most life altering thing I've ever had, served with a soft cheese and a pesto sauce for dipping, I was in heaven. And after eating all the fried bread balls and 2 kinds of pasta and 2 kinds of pizza, I was in carb overload and had to be wheeled home. I've been fantasizing about those friend bread balls ever since. So what's a girl to do when she can't get on a plane and hop over to Florence every Friday night... make it at home! Duh!
Fried Bread Balls and Cheese
For the Fried Bread Balls
- 1 loaf french bread torn into small bite sized pieces
- Plenty of olive oil
Served along with...
- 2-3 balls Burrata or any other soft cheese
- 1 recipe Basil Vinaigrette
- Small Heirloom Tomatoes quartered
- Castelvetrano Olives
- Thinly sliced salami
- Heat about ½ cup of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add a few bread balls to the hot oil and saute for a few minutes until just golden and slightly crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel. Repeat until all the bread is fried.
- On a medium platter arrange the bread, cheese, meats, olives, a small container of basil vinaigrette and tomatoes. DIY the perfect bite as needed.