Hand-Pulled Mozzarella with Summer Tomatoes and Fresh Herb Salsa
Serves 8-10 people
For the Mozzarella
- 1 pound mozzarella curd
- ½ cup salt
- ½ cup chopped parsley *you can mix in other fresh herbs too!
- 2 shallots, peeled and minced
- ½ cup of sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- juice and zest of ½ lemon
- salt and pepper
- 3 pounds of assorted fresh local tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh greens
- ½ cup chopped olives
- Grilled olive oil bread
- This is a super-fun recipe to learn, but please be mindful that hot water can hurt. So be sure to pour off the hot water when the curd has formed and double up on the latex gloves to protect your hands.
- In a large stainless steel bowl, make an ice water bath for cooling down cheese once it has been formed. Equal parts ice to water. 3 cups should do the trick.
In a 4 quart pot, bring 2 quarts water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Pour in 2 cups of salt and let it dissolve.
- Slice the curd as thinly as possible and separate in 4 portions. Place one portion at a time into a large stainless bowl. Pour the hot salted water over the curd until it covers it by about an inch. Let the curd sit in the hot water for about 30 seconds before you begin.
- With a wooden spoon, begin moving the curd around until it begins to melt. Carefully pour off the hot water. Now, begin lifting and gently pulling the curd with your hands to remove any fibers or bumps. Once the curd is smooth form into balls and place in ice water for 3 minutes to cool down.
- Combine the parsley, shallots, capers, and vinegar in a bowl. Add just enough olive oil so the sauce holds together. Add lemon juice and zest, seasoning and more oil if needed. Serve.
- Place some greens on a salad plate. Slice the mozzarella and arrange it on a plate with some of the tomatoes over top the greens. Garnish with olives. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the salsa over the salad. Place a piece of bread on the side.
About Chef Stephen Gibbs:
Chef Stephen Gibbs is a co-founder of Hands On Gourmet, the premier culinary events company in the San Francisco Bay Area. His culinary career has included work at such acclaimed restaurants as Wolfgang Puck's Postrio, Roland Passot's La Folie, and Jeremiah Tower's Stars restaurant. Educated at the California Culinary Academy, Chef Stephen has also served as chef at the San Francisco Opera House. In 2000, he created the dining concept and menus for Virgin Atlantic Airline's Upper Class Lounges across the USA.
Chef Stephen's recipes have also been featured in CHOW, Relax, and other magazines, and he has been a guest on several talk shows, most recently the Lisa Birnbach radio show.
In 2005, Chef Stephen won an "On the Verge" award from 7x7 Magazine, which honors innovative leaders in creative fields, in the "Menu Creation and Development" category.
Before picking up a chef's knife, Stephen spent a decade in Los Angeles working as an actor. You may recognize him from Days of Our Lives or his roles in other 1990's soap operas, sit-coms, and television commercials. He also worked with the legendary Groundlings improv group.
These days, Chef Stephen puts his dramatic skills to use sharing his passion for great food. He produced and starred in Flavor Highway, a series currently available on Taste TV. He has been featured in a segment on the Fine Living Channel, and recently took the lead role in a cooking show pilot with a San Francisco production company. Chef Stephen also makes regular public appearances doing cooking demonstrations in association with national magazines including Gourmet and Women's Health.