Today’s French Fridays with Dorie assignment was Mozzarella, Tomato & Strawberry Salad from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. It is light, delicious, and colorful - a traditional Tomato Mozzarella Caprese salad, with a twist! The end result was excellent – although I think the salad could have benefited from end-of-summer ripe tomatoes rather than hothouse tomatoes that I was forced to use. Unfortunately it’s still too chilly in Chicago for fresh garden tomatoes in June. However the not so perfect tomatoes were contrasted with absolutely gorgeous miniature strawberries from Mick Klug Farms – yum!
While I followed the recipe to the letter except for using black peppercorns instead of the more unusual pink peppercorns – I did go the extra mile. This Mozzarella, Tomato & Strawberry Salad finally pushed me to use the present our dog “gave” us for Christmas – a cheesemaking kit! And yes… I did say Christmas. So I was happy to finally dust off Ricki’s Cheesemaking Kit and get to work!
The box contains recipes for making fresh mozzarella or ricotta and includes everything you need to make 30 batches! (Citric acid, rennet tablets, cheese salt, a thermometer, cheesecloth, and instructions.) All you need to supply for the mozzarella is a gallon of milk and some pots and bowls. In about 30 minutes I had this lovely ball of mozzarella – close to a pound’s worth!
This kit was purchased from the Amazon online store, and you can find it on Amazon.com here. I highly recommend this as a hands-on family activity or as an affordable way to make your own mozzarella and ricotta. This kit should pay for itself after two or three of the thirty batches you'll be able to make.
Back to the Mozzarella, Tomato, and Strawberry Salad - the assembly of this salad takes just a couple minutes after you’ve washed your strawberries and tomatoes. Again this is more of a method than a recipe. Slice tomatoes and strawberries, dress lightly with oil, sea salt, and balsamic vinegar if desired – and serve alongside mozzarella drizzled with olive oil. Top with fresh basil and pepper and you’ve got a guest worthy salad or first course. I will definitely be making this one again, and other variations too with freshly made mozzarella of course!
Please come check out how the other French Fridays with Dorie participants fared with their salads!