Mozzarella Perlini with Red Onion Salad and Olive Vinaigrette
Ingredients/Mozzarella Perlini 6 oz mozzarella perlini (small balls of mozzarella) 1 cup sundried tomatoes 2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped 5 garlic cloves, chopped 1 cup olive oil kosher salt white pepper Method/Mozzarella Perlini Sauté garlic and rosemary in 1/4 cup olive oil for about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper Julienne the sundried tomatoes and place them in a blender. Add 3/4 cup olive oil and puree until the sundried tomatoes are fully broken down and a tomato oil forms. Drain the perlini and toss with the sundried tomato oil and garlic mixture combined; refrigerate overnight. Ingredients/Red Onion Salad 1 red onion 2 tsp red wine vinegar 1/2 cup celery leaves 1 cup snow pea shoots 4 tsp walnut oil Method/Red Onion Salad Shave the red onion paper thin and combine with the celery leaves and pea shoots. Just before service, toss with the red wine vinegar and walnut oil. Ingredients/Olive Vinaigrette 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted 1 cup walnut oil 1 sprig fresh thyme Method/Olive Vinaigrette Remove the thyme leaves from the stem and put into a blender. Add the olives and oil and puree. Let flavors blend overnight in refrigerator. Just before service, strain into a squeeze bottle. Ingredients/Basil Crumb 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves 1/4 cup olive oil kosher salt white pepper Method/Basil Crumb Process the basil and breadcrumbs in a food processor until blended. Slowly add the oil while processing. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve for service in an airtight container Assembly Place a Tbsp of mozzarella into each service cup or glass. Spoon some onion salad on top of the mozzarella and drizzle Olive Vinaigrette on the salad. Finish with a sprinkling of basil crumbs. Chef Notes Be sparing with the olive vinaigrette; it has a very strong flavor. Variations You can use marinated artichokes or tomatoes in the salad, instead of the marinated onions, with a sundried tomato vinaigrette instead of the olive vinaigrette.