I have a love affair with Mozzarella. I am not talking about the shredded stuff on pizza, which is an American invention. I am talking about fresh - in the brine - Mozzarella. While I prefer Mozzarella di Bufala, which is the real deal from Italy, made with water buffalo milk, even domestically made cow milk Mozzarella will do in a pinch.
This is an extremely simple dish that works well as an appetizer or, in my case, a midnight snack after a little (or a lot) of wine... A simple dish made more decadent with a few accoutrement.
I simply remove a 4 oz Mozzarella ball from the brine, slice thin, this is usually 6 - 7 slices.
Lay out on a plate and sprinkle with:
a little extra virgin olive oil (use the good stuff cause you will taste it)
Smoked salt (I used Salish Alder smoked)
Freshly ground Black pepper
and Basil Chiffonade (I was out of basil too so I had to crush up some of my dried stash)
Grab a fork and enjoy.... Which I did... Immensely...
Now I hear people saying... WOAH!! That's a lot of cheese!!!
But remember, this is a fresh cheese, in the same venue as Cottage cheese, and a single serving of Cottage cheese is 4 oz. So it's ALL kinds of good.
Incidently, if you have a baguette lying around, sadly I did not, hold off on the basil and preheat your broiler.
Slice your baguette and rub the slices with a little more extra virgin olive oil.
Lay on a baking sheet and broil on each side, just until lightly toasted.
Rub the slices with a garlic clove, and place back on the sheet.
Lay a slice of the above prepared Mozzarella on each slice and return to the broiler (watching carefully).
Remove when the cheese begins to bubble slightly.
Remove from broiler and top with basil chiffonade and another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.