Fresh-Stretched Mozzarella With Marinated Summer Vegetables
Source: Craig Stoll, Delfina.
The following recipes may be served with fresh mozzarella as a summer antipasto. We sometimes use other vegetable preparations depending on what is available to us and what our inspiration is on that day.
This dish is inspired by our trips to Campania, where fresh mozzarella di bufala would be used. At Delfina, however, we stretch our own fresh mozzarella each night, right before we open. Since mozzarella is ultimately meant to be eaten the day it is made, we prefer this to the imported buffalo milk variety.
Whatever mozzarella you use, allow about 3 oz per person. We prefer texture of larger balls to bocconcini. Cut the balls in half and arrange on plates or a platter with the vegetables. Drizzle the mozzarella with extra virgin olive oil and a grind of black pepper.
Serves 10 to 12
Marinated Cherry Tomatoes
Sweet 100 and Sungold cherry tomatoes
Peeled garlic cloves
Extra Virgin olive oil
Fresh basil, coarsely chopped
5 pounds medium-sized zucchini
1½ gallons olive or peanut oil for frying
8 pounds Early Girl tomatoes (or similar)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
1 bunch fresh basil
For the marinated cherry tomatoes
Rinse and stem the tomatoes. Cut each in half and put in large stainless steel bowl. Crush the garlic in a mortar and pestle and combine with the oil. Season the tomatoes and then combine with the garlic oil and basil.
For the marinated zucchini
Dice tomatoes and toss with 1 Tbsp of salt in a stainless steel bowl. Allow to sit at room temp. for twenty minutes. Slowly heat garlic and olive oil together in a stainless steel pot for six or seven minutes until garlic is soft, but not browned. Remove and discard garlic. Pass the tomatoes through a food mill into the pot, bring to a boil and then a simmer. Reduce by half or until thick enough to coat. Adjust seasoning. Using a mandolin, slice zucchini into thin rounds. Heat frying oil to 365° and fry the zucchini in small batches until lightly browned. Turn-out onto sheet pans lined with paper towel. Salt lightly. Chop basil coarsely with a very sharp knife. Toss the fried zucchini with the tomato sauce and basil just before serving.