Although fresh cheeses can be used any time f the year, they are particularly good with summer produce. Here’s 15 ideas for cooking with Fresh Cheeses like Mozzarella and Boconcini
I am a summer baby, I was born on the first day of the year in Australia. This pretty much secures my title. Once I spent five years non stop in the summer. England – Israel, Egypt back to Croatia then Holland followed by Thailand then Florence , Penang, Malaysia and then Amsterdam. On to New Zealand then Miami , Florida , where the best white beaches in South Miami made it easy to spend the Summer being poor. A trip to Mexico completed the Summer lovin’ before Mr Frosty showed his ugly face.
This being Spring and merely the prelude to Summer it is time to begin thinking about bringing out the fresh ingredients. Bocconcini, Mozzarella, Burrata and Buffalo Mozzarella. Made from the milk of Buffalo Mozzarella is a sponge for other favours with a long hot summer ahead its a really great ingredient. You can find it in some supermarkets but a good deli or cheese store is the way to go.
There are a number of fresh mozzarella style cheeses available, I love Bocconcini and cherry bocconcini and the more unusual Burrata filled with creamy liquid, but Buffalo Mozzarella is prized for its sweet milky flavour and soft creamy texture. Buffalo milk is particularly high in fat and makes amazing fresh cheese including the best ricotta. It is not as resilient (rubbery) as cows mozzarella or bocconcini. This is a fresh cheese and doesn’t last long so it’s best eaten beautifully fresh. It is stored in whey to keep it fresh and moist. After 48 hours the texture starts to become soft and the layers will break apart when it is cut. Most notably the exterior skin will peel away leaving a creamy melting surface. The flavour starts to get more of a tang as it ages. It is still ideal for using in cooking at this stage.
What goes with fresh Bocconcini and Mozzarella?
Fresh Mozzarella and bocconcini goes with: chilli, basil, tomatoes, fennel, asparagus, rocket, pasta, pizza, balsamic vinegar, toasted sourdough, garlic, lemon, beetroot, yoghurt or creme fraiche, olive oil, capers, anchovies, chives, parsley, bacon, pancetta, prosciutto, pinenuts, smoke almonds and smoked chicken….. the list is long, in fact possibly endless but here’s a few ideas for using your cheese.
15 Ways to eat fresh Cheese
- Roast Pumpkin, Pinenut, Rocket and Buffalo Mozzarella salad with sweet sherry vinegar and grain mustard dressing .
- Roasted Tomato Tart with Buffalo Mozzarella and Anchovy, scalded onion and Parmesan dressing
- Buffalo Mozzarella, crushed Broadbean and Pesto on Brushcetta
- Eggplant and Buffalo Mozzarella Lasagne with crispy Pancetta
- Balsamic roasted Spanish Onion and Rocket, Parmesan and Bocconcini salad
- Smoked Chicken, Lemon, Chilli and Buffalo Mozzarella salad
- Asparagus, mozzarella, pecorino and tomato salad with poached egg & pesto vinegarette
- Prawn and Mozzarella Pizza
- Torn Mozzarella mixed with Buffalo yoghurt (or thick plain), chives, mint, lemon zest , chilli and parsley and serve with a grated carrot and beetroot salad as a side.
- Bocconcini stuffed meatballs with fresh tomato and oregano sauce.
- Spaghettini, Italian Sausage, basil and Bocconcini
- Pizza Dip with melted Mozzarella, boconcini or buffalo mozzarella
- Arancini Balls stuffed with Bocconcini ( start with this recipe)
- Baked Buffalo Ricotta with Pesto and roast Tomatoes
- Bocconcini in pesto dressing with crunchy garlic croutons and roasted capsicum
The choice is endless……………………………..roll on summer