Serve a mad scientist-inspired, Jekyll and Hyde-themed appetizer for the ultimate spooky Halloween or horror snack. Your friends will not believe just how real these mozarella balls look and just how delicious they taste. With spices like garlic and red pepper and fresh Italian herbs, this ballin' recipe is packed with flavor that will keep your guests coming back for more.
3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes in oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 (7- to 8-oz) pkgs. ciliegine mozzarella, drained
1/4 cup drained whole black olives, pitted
1/4 cup green olives, unpitted
How to Make It
Combine olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf in a small skillet; heat over medium until sizzling, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and let continue to sizzle until garlic softens, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Pour cooled oil mixture into a large bowl and whisk together with sundried tomatoes, vinegar, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, lemon peel, and pepper. Add mozzarella balls and toss to coat. Let sit for at least 8 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.
Working one green olive at a time, slice 4 rounded edges off of each. Punch a hole in the center of each olive circle using a plastic straw (these will be the irises). Set aside. Open up and flatten each black olive; punch out holes using the same straw (these will be the pupils). Place one black olive pupil in the hole of each green olive iris. Place one olive set on each mozzarella ball. Serve with crackers and baguette.
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These were a huge hit! They tasted and looked great! They are, however, labor intensive. Marinating the cheese is easy but slicing the olives takes a lot of work. Finding un-pitted green olives wasn't easy and I had to buy them at Whole Foods. Also, cutting through the green olives with a straw was very tough indeed. Something like a narrow metal tube or pipe might work better. The plastic just didn't cut through the olives well at all. Similarly, cutting off the ends of the green olives was tough as well since the flesh clings to the pit. The variety of green olive may have made a difference since I grabbed the one and only type of unpitted green olive they had. Other varieties might be easier.When setting up the eyeballs, make sure to set them a bit askew from one another so it looks a bit randomized. If they're all perfectly facing the same direction, it doesn't look as real.
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