Choosing the Right Mozzarella
Fresh mozzarella is used in these Marinated Mozzarella Balls, which comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. When searching for fresh mozzarella at the grocery store, you want to look for the smaller sized pearls that are perfect for guests to eat in one bite. Bocconcini pearls are about the size of a cherry tomato. Ciliegine pearls will be slightly smaller than Bocconcini, but also a great size for this recipe. Some brands make it really easy for you and just label them "Pearls", and usually have them packaged in a clear container making it easy to see what you are getting.
Fresh mozzarella is usually packaged in water or a whey mixture which you will drain off before using. Once opened, fresh mozzarella is best consumed within 3-5 days. Fresh mozzarella melts like a dream making it a great addition to pasta or homemade pizzas!
How to Make Marinated Mozzarella Balls
A handful of ingredients and some store-bought shortcuts are all that's needed to take these mozzarella pearls from great on their own to out-of-this-world.
The ingredients used in the marinade:
- Basil pesto - jarred or homemade
- Olive oil
- Sundried tomatoes - I buy the kind that come in a jar. They are typically marinated in olive oil, so just drain them off before chopping.
- Fresh parsley
- Balsamic vinegar - adds the perfect amount of acidity
Add the drained mozzarella pearls to a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the marinade. Pour over the cheese and gently toss. Your work is done!
How To Serve Marinated Mozzarella Balls
These Marinated Mozzarella Balls need to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to really meld together and flavor the cheese. If you are able to make them further in advance, even better! Stick them in the refrigerator until about 30 minutes until you are ready to serve. As with practically all other cheeses, it's best served at room temperature to allow the flavors to really shine.
To serve, place the Marinated Mozzarella Balls in a nice serving jar or dish alongside some warm crusty bread, or skewer each pearl with a toothpick and serve on a tray. These Marinated Mozzarella Balls also make a great addition to a charcuterie board when placed in a small mason jar on the board.
After I perfected this recipe after a few test runs and had them sitting in the fridge, I would catch my husband stopping at the fridge every time he passed it and sneaking a couple of these. He was addicted!
How Long Do They Last?
Due to the acidic addition of the balsamic vinegar, these Marinated Mozzarella Balls are best when eaten within 24 hours. After that, the texture of the mozzarella pearls could start to break down due the acidity of the vinegar.
Full disclosure: I never run into this problem when I make these. They usually don't last the night!
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Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- 1 pound mozzarella pearls
- 2 tbsp. basil pesto jarred or homemade
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. sundried tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- Drain mozzarella pearls and place in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over mozzarella and gently toss.
- Allow mozzarella to marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving. Remove cheese from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving for the best flavor.