Sometimes, when it comes to cooking and kitchen experiments, I get a little too ambitious. I love making my own homemade pizza dough, and then I remember that the one that they sell from behind the counter at the Safeway bakery is actually quite delicious. I also think it’s great to bake bread or cinnamon rolls. Until I remember I have to run out and don’t have time for that second rise… I’ve also been known to make my own pasta once in a blue moon. Thank God there aren’t many blue moons, because, the mess… And I actually prefer the homemade pasta from the Italian market better.
So the point of this story is, sometimes it’s not worth all of the effort to make things that someone else has already perfected. So I’m not sure why, but I’ve had a strange desire to make my own mozzarella cheese lately. I’ve seen a few DIY videos, and came across this article from Bon Appetit the other day. Don’t worry, I stopped myself before I crossed over into the world of DIY foods that take forever to make and are so much easier to buy. I decided instead, to buy the Bocconcini (little mozzarella balls) and make a fancy herb infused oil marinade to flavor them with.
Very wonderful idea, if I do say so myself. Plain fresh mozzarella has a lovely tender texture and freshness about it, but honestly, not much flavor. It’s great to add to pizza, but as far as eating, it’s pretty ~ meh. Marinated fresh mozzarella on the other hand… Let’s just say I had to resort to the portion, plate it, and put it away method. The infusion of herbs and garlic makes them even better to use on a pizza, but these are oh so delicious to munch on with a slice of bread and maybe a few sun dried tomatoes and olives. Appetizer heaven!
These would also make a lovely hostess gift for a food-loving friend, if you put them in a pretty jar. They should be refrigerated, but should keep for a good 2 weeks (if they last that long).
I love this recipe from the Kitchn.
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped herbs basil, oregano, parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns lightly crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of red pepper flakes or more to taste
- Kosher salt to taste
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound 16 ounces bocconcini
- Drain bocconcini and transfer them to a clean jar or container with an airtight lid. Set aside.
- Heat oil and garlic in a small sauté pan over medium heat until sizzling. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Add remaining herbs, salt, pepper and vinegar to the garlic oil, and stir to combine.
- Pour oil over boccocini, cover with an airtight lid.
- Refrigerate and allow to marinate overnight or for up to two weeks.
- Bring to room temperature before serving.
Serve bocconcini on their own, or as part of an antipasto platter with salami, marinated vegetables and crusty bread.
Do you ever make things and then curse yourself because it’s so much easier to just buy them and put your energy elsewhere? Do tell!