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16 September 2011

Mozzarella with Anchovies in Truffle Oil

For two years in a row, I spent my birthday rushing in the airports, flying somewhere with two kids in tow.  If you are also a parent, you would understand what it connotes.  Not that my idea of celebrating my birthday is to run around the airport and keep two kids at bay while lugging around a heavy hand luggage containing anything imaginable that can entertain kids.  I am not even tackling the issue of being inside the airplane.  Looking at the wall clock every second is the second main event.  Time stands still when you need it to go faster.   I have this quintessential caricature of two battered-looking parents walking behind two frolicking children.  Parenting can be severely trying but with just one little smile from the kids, well, it's a cliche' but it's true, it melts your heart.

While waiting for our plane that kept on getting delayed (something you absolutely don't want to happen when traveling with children), we had a quick & light lunch at Dei Frescobaldi Wine Bar at the airport.   Not really a mozzarella eater, I got curious with their mozzarella in alici tartufate (mozzarella with anchovies in truffle oil).  The only fresh cheese I can eat are buratta, a limited amount of mozzarella and a miniscule amount of ricotta.  I prefer eating aged cheese because there is no hint of  the milky taste.  I didn't order the mozzarella but my husband did.  I tried one and it got me hooked that I kept on stealing from my husband's plate.  It was incomparable to my unexciting plate of roast beef.  I diligently finished my plate of meat while I enjoyed the mozzarella for the first time in my life.  

Of course, it didn't end there.  When you find love, you cannot let go easily.  I took note of the ingredients and shelved it for the meantime  as an idea when we get back from our trip.  Right on cue, I bought the ingredients as soon as we arrived home.  I also found a small tiny bottle of preserved truffles and added some to this dish to give the flavor of the truffles a more prominent kick.  And here is the blending that made me give mozzarella a second chance.

Mozzarella with Anchovies in Truffle Oil

Serves 4
  • 4 mozzarella balls
  • truffle oil
  • preserved black truffles, chopped (optional)
  • 8 fillets of anchovies
  • 4 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 fresh basil  leaves
  • rucola, chopped coarsely or left whole
  1. Slice the mozarella in two.  
  2. Distribute the rucola on the plate.  
  3. Put half of the mozzarella on the rucola.   
  4. Put some truffles (optional).  Drizzle with truffle oil.  
  5. Put a slice of tomato, a basil leaf, then a fillet of anchovy.  Drizzle with truffle oil again.  
  6. Repeat until you finish all the ingredients.  Don't put salt anymore because the anchovies are already salty.