The mozzarella, red pepper, olive dish is one that my family repeats throughout the year, whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, graduation parties, casual get-together's, whatever the case may be. It's a simple recipe, doesn't take much time or skill to prepare, and is pretty tasty, if I may say so myself.
You will need:
- 1 package long toothpicks (preferably the kind where one end is flat)
|Tip: Trader Joe's Mozzarella balls are SUPER CHEAP!|
- 1 average-sized jar of roasted red peppers
- 1 can large black olives
- 1 jar large green olives (with or without pimento)
You probably already have:
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Garlic powder
- Dried basil and/or italian spices
- Fresh cracked pepper (ground black pepper will do just fine, too)
First drain the mozzarella balls and the green olives to make the whole process a little less messy for yourself. Next cut the roasted red peppers in to pieces about 3/4" by 1/2" (you just want them to be a little bit longer and wider than the mozzarella balls -and don't worry about the shape, they don't have to be perfect- that's part of the beauty of this dish!).
After you have exhausted your supply of mozzarella balls (they usually go first), then it is time to make the dressing. You can use a pre-made balsamic vinaigrette, but if you'd like to make it yourself, it's very simple to do so. In a bowl or large mug pour 3/4 cup olive oil and 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette. Add a tablespoon each of garlic powder, basil and Italian seasoning. Wisk until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Wisk again. Pour in to the Tupperware container making sure to coat all of the toothpicks and every mozzarella ball. You're done! That's it! Pretty easy :) You can leave them in the refrigerator overnight or serve immediately.
Having a new food experience can mean many things: eating something you haven't eaten before, preparing something you've never prepared on your own, blind experimenting, or simply taking the time to really taste the food you're eating. In this case I prepared something for the first time that I had eaten time and time again. But I never really thought about it until now, when I tried to do it on my own, and tried to explain to you all how to do it on your own.
This experience was about figuring out all of the little things that work, work better, or don't work at all as far as arranging the ingredients, storing the final product, serving it to guests and figuring out the best way to explain the process to an audience. I never would have thought about having the edge of the toothpicks hang slightly over the plate if my grandma hadn't wiped her dressing laden hand on her white sweater and continued to complain about it for an hour.
Oh, the holidays! Speaking of... coming attractions: The Holiday Helper - a cocktail sure to help you get through the holidays, no matter how dysfunctional the family.