Tag Archives: Mozzarella

Caprese Salad

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Caprese Salad

A few weeks ago I made a caprese salad that was incredibly delicious and super simple.  In fact, it’s so simple, I almost feel bad calling this a recipe.  All you need are 4 ingredients, tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar.  I reduced the vinegar to bring out a sweeter, more complex, tangy flavor that paired excellently with the juicy tomatoes, rich mozzarella, and fresh basil.  This salad works great as a side for BBQs.

Caprese Salad

I used grape tomatoes so I cut them in half, basically chop up whatever tomatoes your using into bite sized chunks.  Do these same for your cheese.  For the basil I roll the leaves into a cylinder and then cut into strips that end up looking like basil confetti.  Then toss those three ingredients together in a bowl.

Caprese salad

To reduce the balsamic vinegar put it in pain and boil until it’s reduced by about half and has  a thicker, more syrup-like consistency.

Caprese Salad Balsamic Reduction

Stir everything together until well combined!

Caprese salad

Feel free to serve right away or make it ahead of time, refrigerate, and serve cold, it’s delicious either way (I may have made it the night before a picnic and had it for dinner, then ate it cold the next day…).Caprese Salad

 

 

 

Recipe

Caprese Salad

Serves 8

Ingredients:

2 pints cherry tomatoes (any tomatoes will work)

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese

8-12 large basil leaves

1 cup balsamic vinegar

– In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil and let cook until reduced by half and has  a more syrup-like consistency (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally

– While the vinegar is reducing cut your cherry tomatoes in half (if using larger tomatoes, cut into bite sized chunks)

– Cut or  tear the mozzarella into bite sized chunks

– Stack the basil leaves on top of one another and roll into a cylinder, cut down the length of the cylinder, making ~1/4″ pieces of basil confetti

– Mix the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a bowl

– Allow the balsamic reduction to cool for a few minutes, then pour over the salad and stir to combine

Eggplant Parmesan

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Eggplant Parmesan

Last weekend I discovered an eggplant in my fridge that I completely forgot about, not wanting it to go to waste I decided to make some eggplant parm.  I figured I could easily modify my chicken parm recipe for eggplant parm.  The problem with this was that I didn’t have any bread crumbs but I wasn’t about to let that stop me, I wanted cheesy, saucy, eggplant goodness so I scoured the cupboards and fridge looking for an acceptable substitute.  To my delight I found some wheat germ that I knew would do the trick.

eggplant parm bite

To prepare the eggplant (which I don’t have pictures of because I’m a dork) slice it into 1/4″ slices, salt both sides and let it sit for 30 minutes to draw out the water, then rinse off the salt and pat dry.  Whisk an egg, dip the eggplant slices in the egg and then into seasoned wheat germ and place on a broiler sheet, toss them in the oven and bake.

baked eggplant slices

Spread a thin layer of sauce in a foil lined baking dish (if you really enjoy scrubbing baking dishes feel free to skip the foil) and top with a layer of eggplant.  Sprinkle the eggplant with Parmesan cheese and top with mozzarella cheese (confession, I didn’t have mozzarella so I used monterey jack, it was still delicious but if you want to be more authentic use mozzarella).

cheese layer

Add a layer of sauce to the top of the cheese.

Sauce layer

Top with another slice of eggplant.

Eggplant toper

Add another layer of the cheeses.

Top cheese layer

Put the baking dish in the oven and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

baked eggplant parm

Serve with extra sauce and fresh basil if you so desire.

Eggplant Parmesan

Enjoy the deliciousness that you just made!

eggplant parm bite

 

Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 small eggplant

1 egg

1 cup wheat germ (or bread crumbs)

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, parsley)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup tomato sauce (plus more for serving)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

8 oz mozzarella cheese

fresh basil (optional for serving)

– Slice the eggplant into 1/4″ thick slices and salt both sides and let sit in a colander or on a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet for 30 minutes then rinse off the slices with cold water and pat dry

– Whisk the egg in a bowl

– Combine the wheat germ and spices in a bowl

– Dip the eggplant slices in the egg then dredge in the wheat germ mixture and place on a cookie sheet or broiler pan

– Bake at 375 °F for 30 minutes

– Spoon a thing layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a foil lined baking dish, add a layer of eggplant, top with half of the cheeses, add a layer of spaghetti sauce, top with another layer of eggplant and the remaining cheeses

– Bake at 375 °F for 30 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly

– Serve with extra sauce and fresh basil as desired

 

 

Zucchini Pizza Bites

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Zucchini Pizza Bites

I’ve seen various recipes for pizzas using vegetables as a crust floating around pinterest and other random corners of the internet for the past few months and was always intrigued by the idea.  When I visited home a few weeks ago and found some delicious zucchinis and squash I knew I wanted to try making pizza with them, it turned out great!  We made traditional pizzas with tomato sauce and mozzarella and we also tried using pepper jack cheese (which ended up being AMAZINGLY good) as well as some pesto pizzas.

zucchini pizza bites

First slice up some zucchini and squash into 1/4″ thick slices and lay them on a greased baking sheet.  Put them in the oven and bake for a little.

zucchini on baking sheet

Then take them out, cover them with your desired sauce (tomato or pesto), and add cheese.  We also topped ours with some dried Italian spices (basil, oregano, and parsley) and some fresh ground black pepper.

zucchini pre oven

Return them to the oven until the cheese is bubbly and gooey and delicious.

zpb

Then serve them up on a plate and enjoy!

pesto zucchini bites

 

They’re kinda like bagel bites, but healthier.

zucchini bagel bites on plate

 

Recipe

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

4 zucchini or squash

1/4 cup tomato sauce or pesto (or some of each)

1/2 cup cheese (we used a mixture of mozzarella and pepper jack)

shredded Parmesan cheese

Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, parsley)

fresh cracked black pepper

– Preheat oven to 375 °F

– Slice the zucchini into 1/4″ thick disks and place on a greased baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes

– Remove from the oven and spoon tomato sauce or pesto over top

– Place cheese on top of sauce

– Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and pepper

– Return to the oven for 15 minutes (or until the cheese is melted)

– Remove from oven and serve

Mountain Pies

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Mountain Pies

During my camping trip last weekend I made mountain pies for dinner.  For those of you horribly deprived people who don’t know what a mountain pie is, they’re sandwiches you make in a pie iron.  In my case we always make pizza grilled cheese so we load sandwich up with mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, and pepperoni, this time I threw in some extra pickled jalapenos we had laying around because, well, why not?  While these are especially delicious made in the pie iron over the fire, the good news is you can just as easily make them in the comfort of your kitchen just like you would a regular grilled cheese.

Mountain Pies in Pie Iron

First gather your ingredients.

Mountain Pie Ingredients

Spoon some tomato sauce over one slice of bread per sandwich.

Pizza Sauce

Sprinkle some mozzarella on top (or used sliced cheese if you have that on hand).

Cheese

Top with pepperoni slices.

Pepperoni

And jalapenos if you want some spice.

Jalapenos

Then top with the other slice of bread and the outside of the sandwich with butter.

Butter Bread

Heat the pie iron over the fire for a few minutes, wipe with canola oil to prevent sticking, and then place the sandwiches inside.  Put the pie iron over the fire, flipping every few minutes.

Pie Iron on Fire

When the sandwiches are nice and golden brown, carefully take them out of the pie iron.

Mountain Pies in Pie Iron

Serve them up and enjoy the gooey deliciousness that is a mountain pie.

Mountain Pies

 

Recipe

Mountain Pies

Serves 2

Ingredients

4 slices of bread

2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or 2 slices)

8 slices pepperoni

jalapeno peppers

butter

canola oil

– Coat a double pie iron with canola oil and heat over the fire

– Spread 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce a piece onto 2 slices of bread

– Sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese per sandwich over the pizza sauce

– Arrange 4 slices of pepperoni per sandwich over the pizza sauce

– Add jalapenos if desired

– Top with remaining slices of bread, and spread both sides of the sandwich with butter

– Place the sandwiches in the pie iron and close

Cook over the fire, turning every few minutes until the sandwiches are golden brown (about 8 minutes depending on heat of the fire and placement of pie iron)

Carefully remove the sandwiches from the pie iron and serve