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Sunday Food: Fresh Mozzarella Dumpster Salad


Fresh Mozzarella, diced, or else in small balls.

A bunch of those really tasty little grape tomatoes.

Fresh basil leaves, torn, not cut, into bite-sized bits.

Some kind of sweet onions, I prefer the red ones, but if Walla-Walla sweets are in the dumpster you can’t exactly complain.

Cracked sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste.

Balsamic vinegar drizzle and a circle of olive oil. This might take a few tries, otherwise you end up with balsamic soup.


A couple of weeks ago we found twenty (yes 20) eight-ounce balls of fresh mozzarella cheese in the dumpster, all prior to expiration. We also found sea salt in a nice grinder mill,  dozens of packages of grape tomatoes, and quite a few onions. At home we already had pepper corns in a dumpster grinder, along with some olive oil that we had put into one of those oil pourer-thingies that we found in the trash, but cleaned up and filled with oil, you really can’t tell the difference between us and the folks dining at Emeril’s Nola in New Orleans.

Let’s see. We actually bought balsamic. We did not have, nor did we buy a key ingredient- the basil leaves- because we cannot afford them, but I include them here because they are critical to that ‘BAM!’ feeling that you get with fine dining.

Nonetheless, this salad is really, really good.

Unless an actual cook and real contributor out there provides the real recipe for this salad, my directions are as follows: Locate some sort of a nice bowl and start combining the ingredients until you have it just right. By the time you get it just right, you will be full, and can skip dinner and move on to desert.

In the meantime you all are stuck with me. And it is so not beyond me to swing by a car wash to rinse off the immense amount of produce that we find, especially since our kitchen sink faucet leaks like a sieve.

All that mozzarella, what to do. Well, it melts up nice on hamburgers and in omelettes and in cheese sandwiches. You can slice it and eat it plain.

But then, sadly, fresh mozzarella does tend to expire and you cannot really do that German thing where you slice off the mold, and hang the cheese out on the roof because it smells so bad you’ll run everybody out of the damn house because they think there is something terribly wrong with the toilet, or else that someone in the house is rotting from the inside out… but the cheese is still edible.

No. Mozzarella goes bad. It just did not work with the egg/egg white omelette this morning. Too tangy and sour. But we enjoyed it for a good long while anyhow.

Back to Emeril. Serve this on stoneware from the dumpster, with silver plate flatware from the dumpster, with festive napkins from an endless supply, also from the dumpster and…BAM!

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