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This simple mozzarella salad recipe features the beautiful creamy Toonsbridge buffalo mozzarella from Co Cork. It is the perfect compliment to the sweet garden peas and tender grassy spring asparagus (both in season now).

The salted capers add a lovely bite, but the oil is really the critical bit – use the best extra virgin olive oil you can source – your taste buds and overall health will appreciate it!

This vibrant little number shouts sunshine and balmy summery evenings. It makes a really simple starter or light lunch or a light supper dish and it also works well as part of an anti-pasti platter. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 4 buffalo mozzarella – 125 grams each

Garden Pea and Rocket Salsa

  • Small handful rocket
  • 12 small asparagus spears
  • 50 grams fresh garden peas, shelled weight, or 50 grams defrosted frozen peas
  • Edible flowers to garnish (opt)

Dressing

  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers, roughly chopped
  • 1/8th clove garlic, crushed to paste
  • Zest of 1/8 lemon
  • Seasoning: sea or rock salt, crushed peppercorns
  • Diabetic Friendly

  • Gluten Free

  • Vegetarian

  • Low GI

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Method

  1. Drain the mozzarella balls from their liquid and place on a tray. Cover in cling film and bring to room temperature.
  2. Place all dressing ingredients in a jar, then seal it and shake well.
  3. Wash and spin the rocket dry – reserve in a bowl.
  4. Drop the asparagus into boiling water. After a minute, add the peas and cook for 2 more minutes. Strain and immediately refresh in iced water for 5 minutes. Transfer to kitchen paper to remove excess water.
  5. To plate, tear each mozzarella ball in half and season lightly, then place on 4 large plates. Arrange the rocket, peas and the asparagus on the plate. Drizzle all the ingredients with dressing. Garnish with edible flowers and serve.

Maggie's Tips

  • The fragrance of good quality olive oil is unmistakable – especially new season extra virgin olive oil (first press). The scent of new season olive oil is typically called ‘green’, with a light fruity note. Like wine, extra virgin olive oil has complex depths of flavour and scent.
    Depending on country or region of origin, various fragrance notes will emerge, such as fresh cut grass, sweet apples, toasted nuts or even citrusy lemon. These contribute a lot to the oil’s final flavour. So you might want to check what your bottle of oil smells like. If the above scent notes are missing it might be a good time to purchase a new bottle – preferably from your local farmers market or local deli.
  • Always source olive oil in a dark glass bottle or a tin. Store in a cool dark pantry, fridge, or cupboard away from direct sunlight.
  • If you can’t source Toonsbridge mozzarella. Use a good Italian version – source from your local cheese monger, such as Sheridan’s or your local deli.
  • This salad is best assembled just before service.