With a combination of basil, parsley, fresh lemon, a sliced garlic clove and extra virgin olive oil, marinated mozzarella balls make it simple to transform this mild soft cheese as it soaks up those fantastic flavors. You can serve the mozzarella as an easy appetizer recipe with bread or on a charcuterie board or antipasto platter. Or add it to homemade pizzas, salads or pastas.
The prep is quick and easy. You are essentially jazzing up some store-bought ingredients in minutes. The final result is even more satisfying given the minimal effort needed. Marinating fresh mozzarella is one of my favorite no-cook and nearly no-prep recipes.
You can boost the mild flavor of mozzarella. It is the perfect blank canvas for citrus, garlic and fresh herbs. This is why you can use it for an appetizer, pizza, pasta and more.
It is a make-ahead recipe that you can enjoy in multiple ways. There’s a reason why I come back to these kinds of recipes. That’s because they manage to be a special version of leftovers that taste new and exciting depending how you serve them.
There are different flavor variations you can do when marinating fresh mozzarella, but it’s most important to have fresh herbs, fresh garlic and some sort of acid.
That acid can be vinegar like balsamic, white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar. I am a big fan of lemons because citrus will also provide that much-needed sharpness and brightness to this milky and mellow cheese.
This is what you need:
Before you get started with the marinade, it’s important to prep the mozzarella. All you have to do is drain the balls from the liquid in the container and pat them with a towel.
Putting together the recipe is the quick part. Then comes the wait. It’s best to marinate the mozzarella for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature.
If you are planning to marinate it longer, put the cheese in an airtight container such as a jar. You can use more than one if necessary. Also, depending on the shape and size of the container, you may need to pour in additional olive oil, so the balls are mostly submerged.
Once you are ready to serve them, let the mozzarella balls sit at room temperature, so the olive oil becomes liquid again if it has hardened in the chill of the refrigerator. You can keep the mozzarella in the fridge up to 7 days.
They can be an appetizer and more. This is why I love marinating fresh mozzarella so much. If you want to treat it like a starter, serve it with crusty bread. You can spoon the balls from the dish or use toothpicks to treat them more like bites. Then you can dip the bread into the oil as you enjoy it with the cheese.
Another option is to use the mozzarella in a salad. Pairing it with slow-roasted tomatoes and greens is always good. You can add avocado too. Try them in an Italian Chopped Salad.
This mozzarella can also be used for a pizza topping or added to pasta. Lemon, garlic, herbs and cheese work really well with either dish.
The name depends on their size. Ovoline are egg-sized. Bocconcini are bite-sized. Ciliegine are the size of cherries, and perlini are mozzarella pearls.
You can keep marinated mozzarella balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 7 days.
Fresh mozzarella has the same consistency from the outside all they way through the center of the ball. Burrata is basically a mozzarella pouch with cream in the middle.
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