Insalada Caprese is one of the great summer treats – this week’s version included Brandywine and Yellow Boy tomatoes, purple basil and sweet basil, homemade mozzarella, salt and pepper and olive oil. Optional splash of balsamic vinegar.

Making your own mozzarella isn’t so hard – plenty of recipes on the internets like here and here. All you need is milk, citric acid, rennet and salt. For a first time cheese-making endeavor, polls show this mozzarella is a winner.

Like so  many things, the right ingredients are key.

  • Milk – When possible, use local milk. Ultra-pasteurized milk won’t work (which rules out most of the commercial organic milk). I used Giant brand whole milk, although 2% would probably have worked as well.
  • Rennet – Junket rennet tablets, widely available, are great for custards but not for cheese making. Get rennet specifically made for cheese-making.

Other than that – it’s easy. And homemade beats store-bought any day!