Italian Antipasto: Stuffed and Baked Lemons

December 5, 2013

This delicious antipasto (Italian for appetizer) is a great exercise in taste and flavor balance. The harmony created by buffalo mozzarella, basil, cherry tomato, anchovy and acidic lemon is unbeatable. Feel free to substitute to your liking — and swap ingredients to cook with the seasons!

Stuffed Lemons in the Oven
Submitted by La Tavola Marche


2 Large unwaxed lemons
1 or 2 balls of buffalo mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch or 1/2 cm thick pieces
4 fresh basil leaves
2 anchovy fillets
2 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 F / 215 C

Remove the ends of the lemons & discard them (don’t cut in to deep - you want to keep a closed bottom). Then cut the lemons in half crossways, giving you little lemon bowls.

Using a small knife, remove the lemon flesh, leaving you with 4 hollow lemon rind bowls. (Again, you don’t want to break into the rind)

Cut a piece of mozzarella to fit inside, then lay a basil leaf, half an anchovy fillet and half a cherry tomato on top with a pinch of salt & pepper and a little drizzle of good olive oil. Put another slice of mozzarella on top - the lemon should now be filled up. Do the same to the rest of the lemon bowls.

Place on a baking sheet & cook in a preheated oven for 10 - 15 minutes, until golden & bubbling.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately. To eat: scoop the mozzarella out and eat with bread to soak up any juices!

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