I'll Bite

From the recipe file: Your bologna has a sexy first name – mortadella

With picnic and grilling weather approaching, it’s time to up your game on bologna.
With picnic and grilling weather approaching, it’s time to up your game on bologna. Observer files/Wendy Yang

Are you turning up your nose at bologna? As Julia Roberts said in “Pretty Woman”: Big mistake. Huge.

We’re coming into those months when the weather is perfect for eating outdoors. Simple picnics, grilling parties – if you’re not outside, you’re going to be lonely. And that reminded of a story I did several years ago on rethinking bologna.

Here’s a cookout-ready recipe we ran with that story. And if you’re looking for more recipes from our files, here’s the blue search form. Click on it, fill in a word or two and search away.

No baloney.

Grilled Mortadella Packets

Originally from Mario Batali at www.foodandwine.com.

12 thin slices of mortadella

12 ounces fresh goat cheese

12 basil leaves


3 cups packed baby arugula

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Place 4 slices of the mortadella on a work surface. Spoon some cheese in the center of each and top with a basil leaf. Fold the mortadella over the cheese, folding in the sides to form a packet, and secure it with toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining mortadella, cheese and basil.

Heat a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the mortadella packets over high heat for about 1 minute per side, until they are lightly charred and the cheese has melted. Discard the toothpicks.

Toss the arugula with the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt. Transfer to a platter. Arrange the packets around the arugula and serve right away.

Yield: 6 servings.