(BPT) - The fresh flavors of summer delight taste buds. Crisp salads, savory grilled meats and iconic dishes passed through generations - food is one of the best parts of the season.
One way to add a simple twist to fantastic fare is to reach for fresh mozzarella. This versatile cheese is summer's best friend because it melts beautifully on hot dishes yet adds cool, creamy flavor to chilled foods.
Whether served hot or cold, you always have options when you stock your fridge with Stella Organic Fresh Mozzarella. The milky flavor and soft, delicate texture are reminiscent of the fresh mozzarella originally handmade in the Italian countryside.
Think beyond the pizza and consider these indulgent uses for fresh mozzarella with favorite summer foods:
Burgers: A big round slice of fresh mozzarella perfectly tops your burger patty. It's a great complement to ground beef burgers, but also enhances the flavors of turkey or veggie burgers if that's your preference.
Grilled fruit: The heat brings out fruit's natural sugars for a wholesome, tasty dessert. For example, slice peaches, grill 2 minutes on each side and then layer with slices of fresh mozzarella.
Salads: Farmers markets are bursting with produce to make amazing summer salads. What makes them more amazing? Chopped or pearled fresh mozzarella pieces. More than just for caprese salads, mozzarella is a delicious addition to virtually any salad.
Flatbread: Many people are turning off their ovens this summer and making flatbread on the grill. To make yours irresistible, top with your favorite vegetables and slices of fresh mozzarella.
Drinks: Pairing foods with drinks can seem complicated, but with fresh mozzarella it's simple. The subtle, milky flavors pair well with crisp, acidic wines like Chianti or Pinot Grigio, as well as lighter beers such as lagers or pilsners.
Want more fresh mozzarella inspiration? Visit www.stellacheese.com to explore recipes like this delectable caprese sandwich.
Open-faced Toasted Caprese
1 loaf crusty sourdough or ciabatta bread, sliced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
olive oil, to drizzle over bread slices and avocados
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
8 ounces Stella Organic Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
1 bunch fresh basil
4-6 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
Add vinegar and brown sugar, if using, to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid reduces by about half and is slightly syrupy. Remove from heat, pour vinegar in a bowl or glass to be used later, and set aside to cool and thicken.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or grill to high heat.
Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil on both sides. Rub each side of bread with the halved garlic clove. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle avocado with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Place bread slices and avocado slices in oven or grill both until lightly charred, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the oven or grill.
Slice fresh mozzarella and divide equally among the sandwiches. Place on top toast, then add fresh basil to taste. Add grilled avocado slices and tomato slices. Drizzle everything with olive oil, balsamic drizzle and salt and pepper to taste.