Marinated Mozzarella Bites
¾ cup good-quality olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley
1 teaspoon black or rainbow peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Peel from half a lemon, thinly sliced
Splash of sherry, red wine, or balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound drained whole bocconcini, whole ciliegine, or other fresh mozzarella cut in large bite-sized pieces
1. Heat olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until bubbling gently. Then remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
2. Stir in herbs, peppercorns, lemon slices, and bay leaves.
3. Add sherry, red wine, or vinegar. Add red pepper flakes. Add salt to taste
4. Put the mozzarella in an airtight container and pour the olive oil mixture over the cheese.
5. Refrigerate and allow to marinate up to two weeks but at least overnight. Stir occasionally if cheese is not completely covered by marinade.
6. Bring to room temperature before serving.
NOTE: Can be served alone or can be served on an antipasto platter with cured meats, marinated artichokes, roasted pepper, olives, and crusty bread. On you can put a chunk or ball of drained cheese between a cherry tomato and a pitted Kalamata olive on a toothpick for a beautiful and delicious appetizer.
Feta or goat cheese can be substituted for mozzarella.