The tomato plants in our container garden are a 4-foot-tall tangled mess. The cages didn’t do much to tame those tentacles. Instead they have become a wild hedge in dire need of a trim, but I couldn’t be happier with how unruly they look—the more branches, the more tomatoes. Just a week ago we started picking the red ripe ones. They’re so sweet that I’ve been eating them like candy.
Growing next to those tomatoes is basil that is also thriving in the sun. Caprese salads have been on repeat! It was time to put in a little more effort and soak the cheese in oil, garlic, herbs and spices. Those marinated mozzarella balls had a lot of flavor to match my homegrown cherry tomatoes. They even were the star of a summer charcuterie plate complete with berries and stone fruit.
8 ounces mozzarella (ciliegine or bocconcini), drained
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (basil, chives, rosemary, oregano)
1 garlic clove, peeled and bruised
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
In a small bowl, combine the mozzarella, herbs, garlic, peppercorns, salt and red pepper flakes. Pour in the olive oil and gently stir the mixture. Transfer to an airtight container and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Let the mozzarella come to room temperature before serving.