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Stuffed mozzarella slices

This is a very fresh, cold starter. Perfect in spring or summer. It's quite quick to make, although a little tricky, and can be prepared a day in advance.



Ingredients:

  • 4 mozzarelle

  • 100gr parma ham slices

  • 2 biggish tomatoes (best if of the "on the vine" type)

  • 1 bag of washed and dry rocket leaves


Method:

  • Pour the 4 mozzarelle with their liquid in a microwave safe tall dish, ideally they'd be squeezed together and totally, or almost, submerged in their own iquid

  • Cover and microwave on max power for 2 mins

  • Prepare a large sheet of baking paper

  • Drain (don't pat dry) the mozzarelle but retain the liquid, place them very close together on half of the sheet

  • Cover them with the other half (but leave aboundant space between the fold of the sheet and the mozzarelle

  • Gently start pressing the mozzarelle with the palm of your hand, using the other hand to press the edges so that the mozzarelle will start sticking together, be very careful not to tear them

  • Check if they're beginning to get flat; if not (in my case, at 1000w power, it wasn't), then delicately put them back into their liquid, pressing them together, and microwave for another 1 minute

  • Repeat: drain them well and place them on your half baking sheet, fold the sheet and start again pressing them flat with one palm, keeping them together with the other hand

  • Move on to use a rolling pin instead of your hand, but don't roll it quickly up and down, rather, use it to gently press the mozzarelle flat all over, then very gently start rolling up and down a little

  • Change direction of the rolling pin and continue to roll up and down - you need to obtain a rectangular shape

  • Make sure not to get too thin a mozzarella sheet, otherwise it will break, just often lift the top baking sheet and check that the tickness of your mozzarella sheet gets more or less uniform all over

TIP: while you press the mozzarelle, either by hand or using the rolling pin, have some kitchen paper handy as the liquid will be squeezing out and drip all over, so blot the edges of your baking sheet as it happens



  • Once the mozzarella sheet is ready, blot it delicately dry with the kitchen paper, including the sheet edges themselves, then delicately flip the mozzarella sheet on the other side (using the baking sheet to help) and blot dry the other side as well

  • Slice the tomatoes very, very thin, but discard either end (too much hard skin) and ensure to remove the green core

  • Spread the tomato slices evenly over the mozzarella sheet


  • Now layer on top of the tomatoes your parma ham slices, ensuring not to overlap them, and cut to size to cover all of your mozzarella sheet


  • Last, spread liberally your rocket leaves in a thin layer over your parma ham


  • At this stage, decide which of the two short sides of your rectangle has the most regular edge, and start rolling: one hand on top of the rocket leaves, and the other hand underneath the baking paper, using it to start folding the mozzarella sheet


  • Continue rolling the mozzarella sheet using the baking sheet as an assistant but ensuring it doesn't remain trapped in the middle

  • Once the mozzarella sheet has been completely rolled, keep it wrapped in the baking sheet and turn the short ends of the baking sheet tight like a candy - take care as the sheet is wet and it will easily tear

  • Wrap it all in cling film, leaving some extra cling film on the short ends of the roll: this will allow you to turn and tight the two ends better without tears, but make sure to let the air trapped by the cling film escape before your block the two ends with some string or similar to keep it in shape

  • Place your mozzarella roll on a flat surface in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight


  • To serve, gently unwrap your mozzarella roll - you'll notice that more liquid came out, so use some kitchen paper to pat dry it well over and underneath

  • Using avery sharp knife pair the two short ends, then slice it not too thin (0.5cm would work) and serve on a bed of rocket leaves

TIP: The leftover slices keep well in the fridge for another day, but need to be covered with a baking paper sheet placed directly in contact with the slices, then covered tight with cling film.

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