Spring Fest: 5 Mozzarella Appetizers, Sides and Salads

By: Emily Lee
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Mozzarella just might be the season's quintessential cheese. Prized for its creamy texture and mild flavor, it's a neutral canvas for spring produce, complementing light and bright flavors without adding making things too heavy.

1. Caprese di Farro (pictured above)

Farro — the oldest cultivated grain — is a great base for sides. Dress it up for a spring gathering by tossing the hearty grain with sweet cherry tomatoes, briny Kalamata olives and chunks of mozzarella for a Mediterranean-style salad with enough heft to be a vegetarian main dish.

Giada offers an easier way to serve caprese: by turning it into bruschetta, topping toasted baguettes with Roma tomato and mozzarella. Assemble the stacks ahead of time, then pop them in the oven right before serving to maximize the molten bubbling effect.

Hunks of soft mozzarella cheese add contrast to the crunchy combination of fennel and watercress in this abundant spring salad. Dress the greens with balsamic vinegar and homemade tomato jam, using what’s leftover to spread on toasted baguette slices.

EK-0503 Strawberry and Mozzarella Salad

If you’ve already played out mozzarella's savory side, try pairing the soft cheese with fresh, juicy strawberries.

This recipe calls for ciliegine mozzarella — plump, cherry-sized mozzarella balls that are perfect for wrapping in hearty peppers and skewering. Give the it a festive look by mixing red, orange and yellow peppers.

More Cheesy Ideas from Family and Friends:
Weelicious: Mexican Rice Balls

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Cheesy Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes

Cooking With Elise: Parmesan Noodle Bake

The Sensitive Epicure: Easy Cheesy Puffs (Gluten-Free)

Dishin & Dishes: Baked Herbed Ricotta Spread
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