Marinated Ciliegine

Normally I think simple is best when it comes to mozz. I go for plain in flavor with a high quality brand. But as I was placing a Whole Foods order, I put some of the marinated ciliegine in my cart simply because I thought they’d look nice on a cheese plate. Yes, I was going for form over function in this case. But then I got a notification that they ran out of the marinated mozzarella and replaced my order with plain. No big deal, right? After all, I just told you I prefer the plain. Well now I’d gotten marinated on the brain! So I decided to simply make my own using stuff I had hanging in the pantry.

I used local mozzarella balls (or, ciliegine) and placed them in a Pyrex dish (mason jar works here too). I covered them with olive oil and all sorts of spices. I used large chunks of garlic (smashed so the flavor infused the oil bit big pieces so you can pull them out when playing), crushed red pepper flakes, a bay leaf, and all sorts of dried herbs (parsley, basil, oregano). Cover with a lid and let the marinade work its magic for a few hours,

This is the best if both worlds. You get the higher quality mozz with lots of extra flavor. It really does work well on a cheese plate, particularly when paired with meatballs or prosciutto. This solves the problem of the “good” mozz in standard grocery stores only ever being plain with the flavored stuff usually of lower quality. Do yourself a favor and stock up on these pantry staples so you can up your mozzarella game.