For the MOZZARELLA BAR, you slice fresh mozzarella and serve with crostini, arugula, piquillo pesto, roasted tomatoes, mushroom tapenade, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes.  Then you place all on the table or on your kitchen counter and allow your guests to serve themselves whether they want it as a salad or as bruschetta.  DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!

Piquillo Pesto:

1- 9.8-ounce jar piquillo peppers, drained well

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/3 cup toasted walnuts

2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp Calabrian chile paste

1 small clove garlic, smashed and peeled

Roasted Tomatoes:

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

4 leaves fresh basil, torn

3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Mushroom Tapenade:

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot, chopped

10 oz mixed mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp chopped fresh basil

1 tsp chopped fresh oregano

1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp lemon zest

2 TBSP toasted pine nuts

Mozzarella Bar:

2 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced

Two 4-oz balls burrata

Grilled thick-sliced bread


Baby arugula

Fresh basil leaves

Extra-virgin olive oil

Good balsamic vinegar

Flaky salt

Red pepper flakes

For the piquillo pesto: 

Combine the peppers, Parmesan, walnuts, olive oil, salt, chile paste and garlic in a food processor.

Puree until smooth and evenly combined. Set aside.

For the roasted tomatoes: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the tomatoes with the basil, garlic, olive oil and salt in a small bowl, and then place on a rimmed baking sheet.

For the mushroom tapenade:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the shallots and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

 Add the mushrooms and season with the salt.

Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms have lost all their liquid and are turning golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and season with the basil, oregano, rosemary and lemon zest.

Stir in the pine nuts and remaining tablespoon olive oil.

Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For the mozzarella bar: 

Display all the different types of mozzarella and burrata on platters and plates. Set up a buffet around the cheese options with the 3 homemade toppings, along with the grilled bread and crostini, arugula, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, flaky salt and red pepper flakes. Invite guests to assemble their own bruschetta or salads.