Where has the time gone? It has been one heck of a week. I can't believe my last post was a week ago. Over the weekend I prepared a quick and simple appetizer that I am so excited to share with all of you.
Last week I was driving to one of my offices in the morning, listening to talk radio and getting caught up on the latest headlines when my mind began to drift. With peak commute traffic in full swing, my eyes were on the road along with practicing defensive driving. During commute hour in the Bay Area, the majority of the drivers are what my hubby and I call "the professionals." These are the folks who commute daily and are on a mission to get from point A to point B without delay. Typically the professionals drive safely but with a distinct purpose.
So with my mind drifting during my morning commute, it went to food. Where else would a foodies mind go? (Smile.) With our traditional Friday night wine and appetizer night approaching, I wanted to make something new and fun yet easy and flavorful. I wanted to lighten up our assortment of appetizers. The idea of marinating little mozzarella balls just popped in my head.
Next on the list was to create a combination of flavors along with adding some interest. Recently I had purchased pink peppercorns that are as light as air yet have a delicate fruitiness quality. These spicy, dried berries have a deeper and more balanced pepperiness than the traditional black pepper. No need to use a spice grinder, simply crush with your fingers or use a mortar and pestle.
The pink peppercorns were the inspiration and added that pop of color. I am a bit obsessed with unique salts, so I thought I would continue with the color theme and add Hawaiian Red Salt. To brighten the flavors a bit of Thai basil and lemon zest completed the dish along with some wonderful extra virgin olive oil.
During our Friday night appetizer night, we had some friends over and this appetizer was among the first to be devoured. Enjoy!
Marinated Mozzarella Balls
Mozzarella balls, rinsed and dried
Zest of one medium lemon
Basil, chiffonade (I used Thai basil)
Hawaiian Red Salt
This is a very loose recipe. If you are serving multiple guests, calculate the number of mozzarella balls to be an average of 6 to 8 per person.
Rinse and dry the mozzarella balls. Place into a large bowl. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over the mozzarella balls. Sprinkle the lemon zest and basil over the mozzarella balls. Next add the Hawaiian red salt and crush using your fingertips the desired amount of pink peppercorns. Stir all together and let sit for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Prior to serving, stir mixture and plate onto your favorite bowl or platter.