Garlic Bread with Homemade Mozzarella
Lilia, Brooklyn, NY
According to Taste America All-Star Missy Robbins, the kitchen at Lilia makes fresh mozzarella every morning, and then proceeds to go through 30 balls in the course of one night, all used solely for this dish. The addition of bottarga brings a briny, earthy flavor to the mix, balancing out the richness of the cheese and buttery toast.
- 1 pound mozzarella curd
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 heads garlic left whole plus 10 cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound softened butter
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1 loaf rustic Italian bread
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic butter per piece of bread
- 12 slices mozzarealla
- Bottarga to taste
- Chile flakes to taste
- Sea salt to taste
Make the mozzarella: heat a large pot of water to 180°F. Break up the mozzarella curd into quarter-sized pieces. Place the curds into a large bowl and add the salt. Ladle the hot water over the curds until they’re covered by 1 to 2 inches of water, approximately 12 ounces. Let the curds sit for 5 to 8 minutes without disturbing them. Drain the water and repeat the process once more.
With a rubber spatula, begin to stretch the curds until they form large sheets. If the curds start to get too cold, add more hot water. Make sure to not overwork the curds—you want to work the curds the least amount as possible in order to create the most tender cheese.
Begin to form the cheese into balls by rolling them into shape. Once the balls are formed, place them in a large container of cold water and hold until you’re ready to use.
Meanwhile, make the garlic butter: preheat your oven to 325°F. Place the whole heads of garlic in aluminum foil and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil; wrap in the foil. Roast in the oven until the garlic is soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the roasted garlic from the foil, split each head in half, and squeeze out the roasted cloves.
In a saucepan set over low heat, sweat the raw garlic in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil just until it’s aromatic. Make sure the garlic does not color. In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Season to taste with salt.
To serve: preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the garlic butter on the sliced bread and place on a sheet tray. Toast the bread in the oven until golden brown. Once the bread is toasted, place 1 slice of room temperature mozzarella on top of each slice of bread. Garnish with the grated bottarga, chile flakes, and sea salt and serve.