Tomato and Basil Marinated Fior Di Latte

I’ve made my own cheese a few times now and am fairly confident in the process, enough to experiment a bit more with varieties, flavors and infusions.  However, before this project I had yet to pull fresh mozzarella from curd, so this recipe made for an interesting venture into new waters.

If you can find fresh cow’s milk cheese curd at your local farmers market, I recommend trying this recipe — there’s nothing quite like fresh made fior di latte!

Tomato and Basil Marinated Fior Di Latte (adapted from Phickle)

  • 1 pound cow’s milk cheese curd
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • Fresh ground pepper

In a large bowl, break the curd into small pieces and add the salt; set aside until ready to use. In a small pot fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the water to precisely 180 degrees.  Remove from heat and gently pour over the curds, just enough to cover them.  Allow the curds to rest and warm for a few minutes, then gently push them together with a wooden spoon.  Once the cheese stays together in a rough ball, gently start pulling and stretching the cheese with your hands.  Continue stretching and folding until the cheese is free of lumps; add more hot water to the bowl if the cheese starts to harden.

Place the soft cheese into a small bowl and top with olive oil, basil, tomatoes, chili flakes and pepper.  Gently stir to fully coat the cheese.  Set aside to marinade for 20 minutes and enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate.

When plating, serve on toasted fresh bread and garnish with more chopped basil — or top with a soft poached egg for the creamiest, meltiest breakfast of your life!

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