Um, Yum. This incredibly simple recipe is incredibly amazing. But (food snob coming out, beware…) don’t bother making it unless you get absolutely fresh and high quality ingredients. You definitely want to buy good quality Buffalo mozzarella, olive oil, fresh herbs and tomatoes, and freshly baked bread. When you’re making a dish with only a few ingredients, you better make sure those ingredients are good ones! Mozzarella di bufala is the most prized of the fresh mozzarellas. It is made from a combination of cow’s milk and water buffalo milk. It’s rich and falls apart easily. Serve as a starter dish, or as we do, a simple dinner with a glass of red wine.
Serves 4 as a starter, or 2 for a simple dinner
adapted from: Plenty
½ tsp fennel seeds
grated zest of 1 lemon
15 basil leaves, shredded
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
4 tsp best-quality extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish
1 garlic clove, crushed
Maldon sea salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
9-10 oz. buffalo mozzarella
2 ripe medium tomatoes, (red, yellow or mixed)
Scatter the fennel seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat and dry-roast until they begin to pop. Transfer to a mortar and pestle (or use a muddler and a cup) and crush roughly. Place the crushed seeds in a small bowl and add the remaining marinade ingredients.
Break the mozzarella into large chunks with your hands and place in a bowl. Pour the marinade over top, smear it over the mozzarella, and set aside for 15-30 minutes to marinate.
Slice the baguette in half lengthwise, brush with olive oil and place on a high-heat grill until toasted and grill marks appear.
To serve, cut the tomatoes into wedges and plate along with the marinated mozzarella. Drizzle with extra olive oil and serve with the grilled baguette.