Did you know that you can buy mozzarella made from milk from a herd of buffalo in Cork? Here’s how to enjoy a local take on this Italian favourite at home this summer

Johnny and Geraldine Lynch run Macroom Buffalo in Cork. The mozzarella they produce is as fresh as possible, as Macroom Buffalo’s cheese-making facilities are just 20 metres from the milking parlour.

Custom built for mozzarella production, they use specialist equipment from the home of mozzarella in Italy. So now you don’t have to go all the way to Italy to get authentic tasting buffalo mozzarella. You can find a list of stockists on the Macroom Buffalo website, or pick up the Specially Selected Mozzarella Pearls from Aldi nationwide.

Here are three delicious ways to enjoy mozzarella:

Pepper and parma ham wrap pies

Serves 4 people | Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 mixed peppers
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 215g Aldi Specially Selected West Cork Irish Buffalo Mozzarella
  • 40g green pesto
  • 16 olives
  • 375g pack ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.  
  2. Slice the flesh off the peppers, remove any pith and seeds.
  3. Grill or griddle the slices until the skin is blackened and the slices are soft.
  4. Drain the liquid from the mozzarella and slice.
  5. Cut the olives in half.
  6. Unroll the pastry and cut into 4 oblong pieces.
  7. Divide the pesto between the 4 pieces of pastry, spreading it over the centre of each, then top with a slice of ham.
  8. Divide the slices of pepper and cheese between the 4, keeping them all in the middle of the pastry –season with some black pepper, then fold over the sides of the pastry.
  9. Use some of the egg yolk to stick the sides together – so you have an open pie, then use more egg wash on the sides.
  10. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  11. Put the pies on the baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.
  12. This is great served with rocket and shavings of Parmigiano.

Roasted tomato and mozzarella toast

This recipe is an elegant upgrade on your usual cheese and tomato toastie.

Ingredients:

  • 350g baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • few thyme sprigs, chopped
  • 4 thick slices bread (sourdough works well)
  • 125g ball mozzarella, torn
  • a few basil leaves
  • small handful rocket

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Lay tomatoes, cut side up, in a roasting tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and thyme. Season and cook for 30 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, toast bread until golden. Divide between 2 plates and top with the tomatoes. Scatter on mozzarella, basil leaves and rocket. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Jamie Oliver’s grilled mozzarella and bacon kebabs

This recipe is a unique one to make on the BBQ this summer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread
  • 4 rashers higher-welfare thinly sliced dry-cured smoke bacon, or pancetta
  • 2 lemons , zest of
  • 2 large buffalo mozzarella cheeses
  • 8 sticks fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 handfuls mixed fresh herbs (chives, chervil, mint, basil, parsley)
  • 1 good handful black olives , stones removed
  • 1 fresh red chilli , deseeded and finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Remove the crusts from the ciabatta and tear up into rough 2.5cm/1 inch pieces. Throw into a bowl with the bacon and lemon zest. Divide each mozzarella into 8 similar-sized pieces and add to the bowl. Keeping the leaf tips on the rosemary sticks, remove the lower leaves and then smash these up in a pestle and mortar with the garlic. Stir in 8 tablespoons of olive oil, then pour this mixture over the bread, cheese and bacon. Marinate for anything from 15 minutes to an hour.
  2. Thread your mozzarella and bread on to your rosemary sticks, weaving the bacon in and around. Line up the kebabs on a wire rack and place under the grill on a very high heat until the bread and bacon are golden and crisp and the mozzarella is nice and gooey. While this is grilling make sure you keep an eye on it, as it can turn into a charred kebab very quickly. To make the dressing, chop up the olives and mix with the chilli, 5 tablespoons of the lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste.
  3. To serve the kebabs, dress the herbs with half of the olive dressing right at the last minute so the leaves stay nice and fresh, then use the other half of the dressing drizzled over the kebabs.