So, last night I’m out and about; one thing leads to another and next thing I know I’m inviting a few friends over tonight for a Bastille Day Party. (I wasn’t planning on throwing one this year, being so I just got back from France; besides, last year’s bash was legendary). So, tonight, it’s not going to be a prep-for-days affair, but something quick and spontaneous.
One of the things I’ll be serving is this wonderful Spicy Marinated Mozzarella. It it adapted from the Flavors of Bon Appétit 2003 Recipe Annual. Here’s the original recipe. I’ve tweaked it to fit with the French theme of the party. I recommend it for an easy (yet accolade-winning) dish to bring to a party.
12 ounces fresh mozzarella (drained if waterpacked), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt to taste (I use course fleur-de-sel, because I like little hits of saltiness highlighted here and there)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I’m nuts about Nicolas Alziari olive oil these days….but just use the best lightly grassy-flavored one you have)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Piment d’Espelette*
1/4 cup mixed French herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil–a combo of whatever you have available)
Ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoon capers, chopped
Arrange the cheese on a platter; sprinkle with the salt to taste. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until it start to brown. Like this:
Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Piment d’Espelette, fresh herbs, and pepper. Allow this mixture to cool about 10 minutes. Then, stir in the capers and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spoon it over the cheese and serve.
P.S.: Yes–the French love fresh mozzarella. I see it often in supermarkets….
* P.P.S.: If you don’t have Piment d’Espelette powder, substitute some crushed red pepper and a little paprika.