Advanced Recipe: 2 Twists On A Mozzarella Caprese Salad

mozarella caprese salad featuredNew Year… New Foods!

This year, resolve to eat differently, not just healthier.  Molecular gastronomy is the art and science of selecting, preparing, serving and enjoying food.  It changes the form of the food item without incorporating fattening extras, and adds a whimsical element to any dish.

The following 2 recipes are a twist on a Mozzarella Caprese salad.

mozarella caprese salad ingredientsPart 1: Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1g  Agar Agar
  • 2 cups olive oil (for cold oil bath)
  • a tall glass
  • syringe or eye dropper
  • spotted spoon

Let’s Get Started:

1. First, chill the olive oil by freezing it for 30 minutes in a tall glass.  This is necessary to thicken the olive oil so the balsamic vinegar droplets can chill and gel before reaching the bottom of the glass.

2. Once the oil has chilled, combine the balsamic vinegar and agar agar in a small pot. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Remove from heat immediately.

3. Using a syringe or an eye dropper, drip the balsamic vinegar blend into the glass of chilled olive oil. They hardening “pearls” will collect on the bottom of the glass.

4. Remove the “pearls” from the olive oil with a slotted spoon and rinse in a water bath.

Part 2: Basil Agar Agar faux noodles

Here’s what your going to need for this part:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3.2g Agar Agar
  • thin pvc tube (0.5 cm)
  • syringe (0.03 cm)
  • food processor

Let’s get started:

1. Blend basil and water until completely smooth.

2. Take the PVC tubes and tie them into a knot/ball.

3. Set aside a medium size bowl filled with ice water.

4. Combine the blended basil liquid with the agar agar in a small pot.  Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.

5. Fill the syringe with the hot basil mixture and dispense it into the knotted/balled pvc tubes.

6.  Place the filled pvc tubes into the ice bath to chill and gel.

7. Using the empty syringe, inject air into the tube. This will push the “noodle” out the other end.  You can make a design on the plate, or drape the “noodle” over another item.  Once the “noodle” has been plated, it is difficult to move, so plan your presentation before hand.

I layered a slice of tomato & mozzarella, with a basil agar agar “noodle” and topped it with the balsamic vinegar “pearls”.

Ilise "Baker Babe" Reilly

Ilise Reilly is the General Manager of Lucille Roberts Fifth Avenue, where she sees first hand the struggles and misconceptions members have with food and exercise. "Exercise burns calories, but if you don't change your eating habits, you will never lose weight!" is commonly heard in her discussions. A "foodie" herself, Ilise has been making over her favorite recipes for years, to make them more nutritional, and has used her love of both food and fitness to compile recipes the fuel the body. " Abs are made in the kitchen," she says, "and I want to help you get yours!"

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