RV Hors D’Oeuvres; Marinated Mozzarella & Olives

marinated mozzarella and olivesRoad trips seem very American to me. So it seems like a great way to spend the Independence Day Holiday! A road trip seems especially luxe in a 35ft Georgie Boy Pursuit R.V. that sleeps 8, with  2 televions, wet bar and full kitchen!

I am on just such a road trip as we speak (err, I mean type). 

But this road trip in an R.V. is making it way through the wine country of Sonoma and Napa. I think our road trip food needs to be geographically appropriate. Corn Dogs and cotton candy have their place, just not on my plate.

Still we are in a recreational vehicle. It has a kitchen (of sorts). I am expected to pitch in on the kitchen duties. In fact on this first day of travel I am in charge of hors d’oeuvres. R.V. hors d’oeuvres! I like the sound of that.

But not only am I in an unfamiliar kitchen. But I am in an unfamiliar kitchen moving along CA1 at 60 mph. So there is a lot of room for kitchen disaster.

SippitySup rides in an RVI know this crowd. A kitchen disaster is just the thing they are waiting for. I can hear all the jokes now if I were to drop a tray of something all over the floor. They would hoot “SlippitySup!” for the next 20 years!

So to avoid becoming the butt of a joke. A joke that is sure to be relived and repeated from now until damnation. These are the kind of friends with long memories. 

Nope rather than having to live down a R.V. kitchen disaster I am choosing to make something simple. But I know this crowd. It still needs to be presented elegantly, satisfy all the people all the time. Be geographically appropriate to our wine country destination. And of course be delicious.

So I choose a simple but impressively plated  marinated mozzarella and olives with good Abruzzese sausages. 

I figure it is a great choice as we wend our way through the wine country. I am sure we will stop at a few wineries and pick up a few bottles of wine here and there. I chose these hors d’oeuvres because they seem so wine friendly. Especially since we have not bought the wine yet and I do not know what it’s going to be.

And just so you don’t worry about Sup! I will not be drinking and driving. We have somebody with experience in the drivers seat.

The rest of us will be back here noshing and sloshing over a competitive game of hearts. Those silly fools in the front cabin discussing vectors, wind shear and ETAs will be missing out on a deliciously good time. 

Maybe I’ll bring up a plate of olives. Maybe I won’t!

Marinated Mozzarella

Serves 2 

1/2‑teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2‑teaspoon fresh Italian parsley leaves
1‑teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1‑teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/4‑teaspoon red pepper flakes
2‑tablespoons very good olive oil
Coarse salt and pepper
4 oz fresh mozzarella (or 2 egg sized ovalinis)

Mince the herbs and put them into a small bowl or jar. Add the red pepper flakes, and the olive oil. Allow the marinade to sit at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours at room temperature.

About 30 minutes to 1 hour before you plan to serve this, taste the marinade and adjust the seasoning using salt and pepper.

Cut mozzarella in to 1/4″ thick slices. Arrange them on a serving platter so that they slightly overlap, but plenty of their flat surfaces are exposed to accept the marinade.

Drizzle the marinade over the cheese slices and let stand about 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.

Serve with marinated olives, crackers or bread, and some good cured meat like Abruzzese sausage.

Marinated Olives

Makes about 2 cups

About 2 cups assorted olives
Zest of 1 lemon cut into thin strips
1/4‑cup red wine vinegar
1/4‑cup very good olive oil
1‑tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (like parsley, thyme, rosemary etc)
1/8‑teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Place the olives on a medium sized bowl.

In a small saucepan add lemon zest, vinegar, olive oil, and the lemon juice. Bring this mixture to a simmer. Then remove from the heat.

Add the oregano to the oil mixture and stir well. Pour the warm oil over the olives, stirring to coat them. Let the olives come to room temperature.

Once cool, sprinkle the mixed herbs and cayenne pepper over the olives, stir again the get the herbs well incorporated. Let the olives sit at room temperature at least 2 hours before serving. They may alternatively be kept for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.


Greg Henry