Mozzarella al Limone
It has been a scorcher here in SLC, and we are short on energy, heavy on the need for delicicious summer treats. Enter this light summer appetizer, adapted from a combination of recipes from Jamie Oliver's Great Escape and the May 2006 issue of Saveur magazine.
Both original recipes call for fresh lemon leaves to cover the mozzarella while cooking, which can be difficult to obtain unless you happen to have a lemon tree. I have modified the recipes and created a self-containing "cup" from the lemon which I use to to cook the mozzarella without the use of a lemon leaf. Since modifying the recipe I bought a couple of Dwarf Meyer Lemon bushes, but I still use the lemon "cups" because they are handy and cute.
Cherry Tomatoes (optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Remove the nipple from the end of the lemon to create a level surface.
Slice off a thin piece from each end of the lemon. This will make the bottom of the "cup". Next slice the lemon in half and carefully remove the pulp with a pairing knife creating a ring of lemon rind.
Place the thin slice of the lemon end into the ring of lemon rind to create a "cup" to keep the melted mozzarella from escaping.
Place fresh basil in the bottom of the lemon "cup".
Stuff the lemon "cup" with fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Place mozzarella "cups" on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and bake until mozzarella has melted. Serve with toasted bread and preferably an ice cold glass of Limoncello. Spread the melted cheese over the toasted bread and enjoy.