When my husband Ted saw the jar of marinated mozzarella with slow-roasted tomato in the refrigerator, he laughed and said it looked like brains. In fact, it's just the opposite: a no-brainer appetizer that takes two minutes to prepare, and a few days to marinate in the refrigerator. No cooking, no fussing. During the busy holiday entertaining season, it helps to have a few easy appetizers in your repertoire. You can keep these in the refrigerator for a week, while they soak up more and more of the garlicky tomato and herb flavor. Serve the mozzarella as an appetizer, with crackers or toasted bread; or, toss the cheese with pasta for a quick weeknight dinner, or press into panini sandwiches with some peppery arugula.
Marinated mozzarella with garlic and slow-roasted tomatoes
Makes 2 cups.
2/3 lb small mozzarella balls, rinsed in cold water and drained
1 clove garlic, slivered
3 slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomatoes, sliced into strips lengthwise
1/8 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp mild red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
Sprigs of fresh fennel fronds
Extra virgin olive oil, to cover
Combine everything in a clean glass jar, and cover with olive oil. Stir gently to distribute the ingredients.
Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, and up to 3 weeks. Bring to room temperature 1 hour before serving.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Tomato, basil and mozzarella salad with basil vinaigrette
Quick and easy garlic naan pizza with roasted peppers and cheese
Warm tomato, basil and mozzarella salad
Whole wheat pasta with chicken sausage and green (or red) slow-roasted tomatoes
Pasta salad with shrimp, feta, basil and slow-roasted tomatoes
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil panini, from Panini Happy
Easy roasted tomatoes and shrimp with feta, oregano, and fennel, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow roasted tomato and fennel soup with smoked paprika, from Former Chef
Two tomato pasta with mozzarella, basil and pine nuts, from The Italian Dish
Tomato basil pizza, from David Lebovitz
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