What to do with fresh mozzarella...
...besides caprese salad and pizza? I was thinking of tossing it into Orangette's cherry goat cheese bread salad, which I make all the time, but what else?
I cube it and toss with pasta made with a tomato sauce, or combine it with a cut pasta like shells or penne and bake it in the oven. Sliced it makes a terrific panino. All gooey oozey. Add sliced tomato and some aioli too. Make the sandwich with sliced mozz, dip it in beaten egg, fry it till golden.
I attended a Charity event a while back where where Frank De Carlo, of Peasant NYC, was a participant donating his food....where he made something along these lines. His dish was Tubetti/Ditalini pasta, with Concasse Tomatoes and chunks of sweet sausage bits (no casings) and cubes of fresh mozzarella and ciffonade basil. Before he served it, he dressed it lightly with Olive Oil and Grated Cheese.
I have used/stolen this recipe for many family holidays and gatherings and it is always a crown favorite.
faro and mozzarella salad
2 cups uncooked farro (or substitute barley)
1 medium red onion, cut in half
1 clove garlic
handful of fresh parsley plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1 cup finely diced (about 1/4 "cubes) fresh mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoons minced pitted kalamata olives
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
FOR THE DRESSING
scant 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
Add the farro, one onion half, garlic, handful of parsley and salt along with 2 3/4 cups water to a 2 quart pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off burner and let sit, covered, for 5 more minutes. Discard the onion, garlic and large pieces of parsley. Spread out on a rimmed sheet pan and let cool completely (do not skip this step or the mozzarella will melt into the finished dish).
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegars and honey to prepare the dressing. Chop the remaining onion half finely. Add onion, cooled farro, mozzarella, kalamata olives, tomatoes, remaining tablespoon of parsley and basil to a deep bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and stir well to combine, using a long wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Season with salt and pepper. The salad is ready to serve, but can also be made and stored in the fridge, covered, one day ahead.
You can take what are basically the ingredients of a caprese salad (tomato, basil, mozzarella, olive oil and salt and pepper) but then pile onto that a goodly quantity of hot pasta to make what my Italian friends call a Summer Sauce (no cooking of the sauce, doesn't heat up kitchen).
You want smallish chunks of cheese and tomato (halved cherry tomatoes are optimal). There should be enough pasta to warm the salad part and slightly melt the cheese. Short pasta shapes like farfalle or penne are best. If you give the cubed cheese ten minutes in the freezer beforehand, you'll have less trouble with the cheese getting stringy.
Also, I like to take really good bread slices for bruschetta, toast them, rub a garlic clove onto them, and then briefly broil them with some mozzarella and herbs and olive oil atop.