Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Scamorza in the Afternoon

It was love at first bite.  Scamorza on a balmy spring afternoon is like the first day of spring when the tulips blossom and butterflies are fluttering from bloom-to-bloom.

If you have not tried Scamorza, I highly recommend you find your favorite Italian Ristorante and ask for it!  This is an off the menu special that Calo Pisano, Chef/Owner of Bellini's in Palm Desert, occasionally has available for your dining pleasure.  Whenever it is offered, we always order it.  Sometimes we even inquire - just in case they forgot to add it to the nightly specials.

Scamorza is a wonderful salad that consists of field greens, a little arugula, lightly fried smoked mozzarella cheese, topped with fresh tomatoes and olives, and drizzled with a light touch of balsamic vinegar and oil.  The bitterness of the field greens so compliments the smokey mozzerella that I wonder why I have not encountered this magical combination more often.

Scamorza is a sheep or cow's milk cheese from the Puglia region of Italy.  It belongs to the same family as mozzarella and provolone.  If you are unable to find this scamorza at your local market, smoked mozzarella can be substituted for it, which is what Calo uses in his Scamorza salad.

This is a dish that once tasted can be replicated in your home kitchen.   It is also a dish that is sure to impress your guests with its uniqueness in flavor profiles.  Pair it with a glass of Italian wine and you are set for a wonderful lunch and culinary transportation Puglia!

If you haven't been to Bellini Italian Restaurant, it's located in Palm Desert on El Paseo at The Galleria.  Go see Marylena & Calo and tell them Sasha sent you!  (The patio is pet friendly and gets four paws up from Sasha.)  73111 El Paseo (The Galleria), Palm Desert, CA 92260.  Telephone for Reservation 760-341-2626.

Calo & Marylena return to their native Italy every summer and close from the middle of June to September.  Next time you are in the mood for your own little excursion to Italy and are short on time stop for a Bellini!

For recipes to try at home La Cucina Italia has some great recipes on their website; or Mario Batali's website


  1. Mouth watering beautifully written descriptions make me want to drop everything and run to Bellini's. Do you think they'd be dog friendly to Sunny's enthusiasm?

  2. Absolutely!!! They will even prepare specially grilled chicken for Sunny. Calo & Marylena make everyone, including the family dog feel like part of their family!

  3. Another mouth watering post, Christy.