Meet fresh mozzarella, no, not the bricks or grated stuff from the supermarket, but young balls of fresh cheese, some times in mini balls (ball-ettes?), packed in a watery brine to retain freshness and moisture. Mostly, it's found made from cows' milk but some times you'll find the much-revered buffalo mozzarella, made from the milk of a water buffalo. This stuff is supremely yummy, and it's especially good in summer fare, especially in salads and appetizers. Let's take a look at the many ways to serve fresh mozzarella.
First -- for something truly delectable -- it's possible to make fresh mozzarella at home with just a few ingredients and a little time. Now that's fresh! From the food blog Local Lemons, check the recipe and technique for How to Make Mozzarella Like Giuseppe. There's also a video at Curd Nerd called How to Make Mozzarella which although darky and grainy, demonstrates how the cheese looks as it forms, very useful. The chef works without gloves -- from my experience, gloves are not just recommended, they are required!
But if homemade mozzarella is beyond the pale, no problem, watch for fresh mozzarella at cheese shops, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Costco, Sam's Club and the deli departments of some higher-end groceries. If it's handmade and truly fresh, it can be expensive -- think $10 a pound. But fresh mozzarella is used differently than brick mozzarella, it isn't a cheese to tuck into a casserole, for example. Instead, use it in small quantities where it can stand out and truly be savored. My favorite way to eat fresh mozzarella? Just slice it thin onto a plate, sprinkle the round with good salt, then eat one small bite at a time.
From Home with Mandy, I learned this tip:
"Great tip: when cooking with fresh mozzarella, you can tell how fresh it is by the texture when you cut into it. If it is smooth, then it is fresh. If it starts falling apart, it is probably past its prime...still good to eat, just not FRESH mozzarella." (See more about Mandy's .)
These recipes are all great ways to enjoy fresh mozzarella.
Kalyn's Kitchen ~ Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs
"This tasty mixture of mini mozzarella balls and fresh herbs might be the easiest appetizer you've ever whipped up, and I'm guessing it will impress your friends."
Dutch Girl Cooking ~ Insalata Surprise
"I can only eat so many classic Caprese salads before they start coming out of my nose. I desperately needed one with a little twist. I’ve added a few ingredients and topped it with a gorgeous garlic and basil dressing and named it Insalata Surprise."
The Naptime Chef ~ Tomato, Mozzarella & Pesto on Eggplant "Bread" with Baked Lavash Chips
"One of the main reasons I love this sandwich is because the combination of eggplant, tomato and mozzarella is, in my opinion, one of the best flavor medleys ever created. ... this sandwich is a total snap to make. "
Supermarket Serenade ~ Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Avocado Oil and a Honeyed Malbec Reduction
"It was settled: I would use my avocado oil for a salad using the yellow tomato, herb salad mix, and fresh mozzarella cheese."
Nami-Nami ~ Zucchini Rolls with Herb-Marinated Mozzarella Balls
"I wanted to share a recipe for another kind of Zucchini Rolls that I served on my Birthday table. This time the courgette slices are blanched first, and the goat cheese has been replaced by herb-marinated mini mozzarella balls."
My Husband Hates Veggies ~ Fresh Mozzarella Bocconicini with Oven Dried Tomatoes and Basil Pesto Oil
"There’s no big story here, these juicy little numbers speak for themselves. I make them frequently, and they are always a huge hit at parties, garnering many requests for the recipe. Wanna know why? I will tell you: They are low-carb, vegetarian, bite-sized, served at room temperature, nice to look at, and uber-yummy."
Sweetnicks ~ Marinated Mozzarella Balls
"You know those marinated balls of mozzarella you can buy at the store? Well this recipe is to basically make those, saving you a little bit of extra money, because if you buy them already done at the store, they tend to get a little bit pricey. And these days, quite frankly, every penny counts. Really."
The Italian Dish ~ Roasted Pepper and Mozzarella Bites
"oy, talk about an easy appetizer. How about using just two ingredients (three if you want to add the chopped basil) for a pretty, delicious dish of bite sized morsels?"
Life's Ambrosia ~ Baked Mozzarella
"What I love about this dish, and most of the dishes that we had in Italy, is the simplicity. Not too much seasoning, you just cook it to showcase the flavors of your ingredients."
More Than Burnt Toast ~ Golden Bruschetta with Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella & Pesto
"This is a simple recipe that lets the flavours of the juicy heirloom tomatoes shine. It also enables me to spend more time with each of you and not in Susan's kitchen....it is just that easy!!"
And you, what's your favorite way to eat fresh mozzeralla? Leave a recipe or a link to a recipe in the comments!
In Switzerland in 2001, BlogHer food editor Alanna Kellogg fell in love with the tomato and fresh mozzarella classic cInsalata Caprese.
More from food