I love preserving in olive oil and these mozzarella balls with pine nuts and basil are like having all the taste of great pesto with creamy mozzarella. Italy in a jar my friends!
If cheese is your thing then you will just love these creamy silky mini mozzarella balls. They are basking in a bath of fragrant olive oil flavoured with fresh basil.
Then there is the bite and crunch of the toasted pine nuts.
This is like a sort of deconstructed pesto only with mozzarella. You have just got to try this one.
Think of Italy and two cheeses will spring to mind Mozzarella and Parmesan. It’s the smooth creamy mozzarella that we are talking about here.
There are actually nine different types of mozzarella. Probably the most common for use are the Fior di latte, Mozzarella di Bufala, Burrata and Boccocini.
The standard mozzarella is the Fior di Latte. Basically the milk cheese. Mozzarella di Bufala is the cheese made with the traditional buffalo milk.
Burrata is that amazing mozzarella with the liquid centre.
Boccocini is those little mozzarella balls that I am using here.
Ingredients for Mozzarella In Olive Oil
Boccocini mozzarella balls
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and peppercorns
Fresh basil leaves
Alternatives for mozzarella
If you can’t find Boccocini (sometimes called mini mozzarella balls) in the supermarket then use normal mozzarella in slices for this recipe.
How to make Mozzarella marinated in oil
First, you want to toast the pine nuts in a dry pan. Now, this only takes moments, about a minute and you must watch them like a hawk as they can easily burn.
Do not answer your phone or pop to the loo! You will know when the pine nuts are toasted when they turn golden and start to emit a lovely nutty aroma which will make the kitchen smell marvelous.
Tip them out of the hot pan right away as the residual heat in the pan will continue to cook them.
I used 2 packets of the boccocini mozzarella balls for this recipe. Each pack was 150g.
Simply pack the boccocini into two sterilised jars and add the torn basil leaves and the cooled toasted pine nuts.
Sprinkle over salt and pepper.
Pop on the lids and set aside in a cool cupboard to mature for 2 weeks. This allows the cheese to be infused with the seasonings and the basil as well as the flavour of the pine nuts themselves.
How long will this keep
This will keep stored in a cool dark place for up to 3 months. Once opened keep it in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.
How to use mozzarella in oil
Serve as an appetiser just as it is.
Add spoonfuls of the oil, nuts and basil along with the mozzarella to pasta and stir through for the most delicious simple meal.
Top bruschetta with the mozzarella with some of the pine nuts and drizzle over the oil and leaves of basil.
Add this to your antipasti platter or cheeseboard.
When roasting simple cauliflower steaks top with half of the jar contents and roast for 30 minutes and you will have the most amazing Italian style cauliflower cheese steaks.
This bocconcini in pesto style oil makes a great foodie gift for Christmas. It’s different and just a little bit special. Not something you’ll see in the shops.
I’ve added this post to my 100+ homemade liqueurs and Edible Gifts For Christmas roundup.
Looking for more delicious goodies preserved in oil? Then check these out before you go;
French-style confit tomatoes in olive oil (+video)
Mediterranean vegetables in olive oil
Grilled courgettes/zucchini in oil
Homemade Labneh (yoghurt cheese) in herb oil
Garlic confit (garlic preserved in olive oil)
Spiced lemons preserved in oil
Oven-dried (sundried) tomatoes in oil
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Mozzarella marinated in olive oil with pine nuts and basil
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 300 g mozzarella (boccocini) balls
- 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves torn
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil to cover
- sterilise 2 small jars larde enough to hold all the mozzarella balls
- toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for about 1 minute till golden and aromatic. Remove from pan and allow to cool
- pack the mozzarella balls into the prepared jars and add the seasoning, basil leaves and the cooled pine nuts
- pour over the olive oil to cover completely and secure lids
- set aside for 2 weeks in cool dark place to marinate then use within 3 months. Once opened store in fridge and use within 2 weeks.
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