Well, you don’t need to make your own mozzarella fresca, but it’s super duper easy, fun, and I can’t emphasize exactly how mouth watering fresh, homemade mozzarella is when drizzled with a bright, peppery herbaceous extra virgin olive oil such as the Coratina.
Whether you make your own mozzarella fresca or buy it from the market, this fantastic dish is the perfect showcase for the last heirloom tomatoes of the year paired with fresh, dazzling extra virgin olive oil.
Caprese Salad with Coratina & Oregano White Balsamic
1 pound of ripe, preferably heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin
1/3 cup peppery, fresh green extra virgin olive oil such as Coratina
1/4 cup oregano infused white balsamic
2 tablespoons chiffonade cut basil
8 oz. homemade (see recipe below) or store bough mozzarella fresca, drained
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Arranged sliced tomatoes on a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk balsamic and extra virgin olive oil together. Place a slice of mozzarella on each slice of tomato and sprinkle with basil chiffonade. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve.
1 gallon fresh, local, organic if possible, whole milk – not ultra pasteurized!
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons tartaric acid or citric acid
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet, found here: New England Cheesemaking
1 1/4 cups cold, fresh filtered or bottled water
Additional tools needed:
cheesecloth and a thermometer
Mix the tartaric acid with one cup of filtered water and add to the cold milk. Add the milk to a clean 8+ quart sterilized pot set over medium heat. Bring the milk to exactly 88 degrees, while stirring frequently. Mix the rennet with the remaining 1/4 cup of cool water and add to the heated milk. Mix the milk continuously for a minute.
Allow the curds to sit undisturbed for 15 minutes until set to the consistency of soft jello. Use a long knife that reaches to the bottom of the pot and cut a 1″ cross thatch pattern in the curds
Line a large colander with cheesecloth and gently ladle the curds in to it. If desired you can retain the liquid why and use it for making baking bread, milkshakes, or just drinking as it is very nutritious and delicious.
Once the curds have drained for 2 minutes, place them in a microwave proof bowl and heat them for 30 seconds. They will be very hot so you may want to use gloves at this stage. Salt the curds with sea salt and then knead them until a smooth mass begins to form. Drain off any extra whey that the curds give off, and repeat the heating one to two more times until you have formed a shiny smooth ball of mozzarella
Place this ball (which should weigh approximately 1 pound) in a bowl of cold lightly salted water until completely cool and then it will be ready to use immediately. If not using right away, store it submerged, and refrigerated in lightly salted water in a sealed container until ready to use. Use within four days, although fresher is better!
1 fresh, sweet baguette, sliced in to 1/2″ slices on the diagonal
12 oz. thinly sliced wild smoked salmon
3 ripe avocados, sliced thin
1 small red onion, sliced very thin
1 large garlic cloves cut in half
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup +2 tablespoons Olio Nuovo Favolosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil
pinch of sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Whisk two tablespoon of lemon juice with 1/3 cup of olive oil and sea salt in a small bowl. Add the thinly sliced onions and toss to coat and set aside.
Preheat the grill to medium or heat a grill pan on the stove top over medium-high heat. With a pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of each slice of bread with the Favolosa. Place the bread on the grill and toast until light golden brown and grill marks appear, flipping once during the process (take care not to burn the bread).
While the bread is still very warm, rub the cut garlic clove over both sides of the bread slice. Allow the bread to cool completely, then begin layering by adding a slice of avocado. Brush the sliced avocado with a small amount of the onion-lemon-olive oil mixture, and a grind of fresh pepper. Add the smoked salmon, and top with a few slices of marinated onions and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
Makes about 30 appetizers
Crusty, chewy, fragrant, and savory would all be excellent descriptors for this olive oil laden baked beauty above. It is, my friends, a perfect union of wheat and olive oil and serves to highlight what can be done with the right olive oil plugged in to the right application. The Empeltre’s larger-than-life personality, boasting throat closing pepper, bite, and savory, strong green vegetable notes is pleasantly tamed here and marries perfectly, balancing well with the sweet caramelized shallots, herbaceous fresh rosemary, and earthiness of fresh ground black pepper.
When we use well made extra virgin olive oil as a spice or flavor enhancer in our baking and cooking, it has the potential to elevate our food to a whole new level. Thinking of olive oil as a one size fits all ingredient is akin to reading a wine list in a restaurant with a single wine offered to pair with all the dishes on the menu. The right wine will do for the dishes what the right olive oil will.
Super Robust Olio Nuovo Empeltre EVOO Focaccia with Rosemary & Caramelized Shallots
5 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
2 cups lukewarm, water, filtered if possible
1 cup cooled, unseasoned, mashed russet potatoes
1/3 cup + 1/3 cup + more for drizzling: Empeltre EVOO, or similar, intense olio nuovo with excellent chemistry: super low FFA, >.2, super high oleic 79+, and super high phenol count of 400+, with strong savory flavor notes and heady bouquet.
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 medium shallots thinly sliced
1 package active dried yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves rough chopped
fresh ground black pepper
sea salt to taste
If making the dough in your bread machine, follow its instructions for the order of adding ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the water sugar and yeast. Allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes, Add 1/3 cup of olive oil, mashed potatoes and sea salt. Mix to combine.
With the mixer running on the lowest speed, begin to add the flour, cup by cup, until the dough has come together and becomes elastic and just slightly tacky. Reserve any leftover flour for rolling the dough out.
Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for one hour.
On a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment, gently push the dough to the edges, using fingertips to stretch it and make dimpled indentations. Cover and allow the dough to rise for another hour in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Distribute the thinly slices shallots and rosemary evenly over the focaccia. Drizzle with remaining 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until golden brown. While still hot out of the oven, drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil to taste. Serve warm.