The caprese salad is a legend, I can rarely resist one on any menu, especially when it comes with mozzarella di buffalo or a heavenly burrata, but sometimes you want to branch out with your flavors!
When I was in London in April, I HAD to go to NOPI, Yotam Ottolenghi’s beautiful restaurant. All of my meals focus on the idea of community and communal dining. Ottolenghi seems to think the same! The menu is made to be shared, so if you are there with a large group, you are in luck! However, is you are traveling alone like I was, plan on ordering about 3 small plates. The menu is very interesting and full of new twists on Asian and Middle-Eastern specialties. Along with a few other dishes, I had a burrata with blood orange and lavender oil which was amazing! I love burrata and the pairing with orange instead of tomato was a revelation. I wasn’t in love with the lavender combination, but the coriander and sweetness in the oil was delicious.
I met with some friends today for drinks at the Belvedere Market. Lake went into the Italian Grocery shop and brought out a plate of delicious fresh mozzarella that they make in store. It was sweet and warm, as if they made it just this morning! In fact, it was not even stored in a refrigerator. I knew I wanted to buy a ball to bring home and share with Nico for dinner. I wanted to keep it fresh and pair it with some delicious summery flavors. I remembered my meal at NOPI and the blend of Coriander seed and blood orange and wanted to play off of that combination. I like the color combination of blood orange and navel orange, but feel free to go with one or the other. I added some orange zest into my oil along with some honey for sweetness and balanced it with some freshly torn mint from my garden.
We served this with some Fresh Baked Baguette and a lovely bottle of red wine. What a delicious and quick summer meal!
Fresh Mozzarella with Blood Orange, Coriander and Mint
1 pound fresh mozzarella
1 blood orange
1 navel orange
2 tbsp. coriander
3-4 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
4 tbsp. fresh mint leaves
fleur de sel finishing salt and freshly ground pepper
- Toast the coriander in a small pan for a minute or two.
Add olive oil and honey and mix to combine. Remove from heat and cool completely.
- Meanwhile, zest both oranges.
Peel the oranges. Cut off the tops and bottoms, carefully cut off the skins with a sharp knife.
Slice into 1/4-1/3 inch slices.
- Mix orange zest into coriander oil mixture once it is cooled.
- Arrange oranges on a platter. I like to alternate colors and overlap just a bit. Place the mozzarella in the center, either as a large ball or torn into smaller chunks.
Pour coriander oil over the plate.
Sprinkle with fleur de sel and grind some fresh pepper all over.
Tear or cut up some fresh mint and sprinkle on top.
Serve with some freshly baked baguette or ciabatta.
Total cooking time: 20 minutes, serves 2-4
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