12 fresh basil leaves
12 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 whole cloves garlic, crushed
Crushed red pepper flakes
4 pounds bocconcini (small mozzarella balls, about 2 inches in diameter)
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Special equipment: 4 pint-size mason jars, sterilized, procedure follows*
To each mason jar add 3 basil leaves, 3 thyme sprigs, 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 1 clove garlic, a pinch red pepper flakes and salt, to taste. Fill the jar half way up with EVOO and add 10 to 12 drained boccocini balls. Top off with more EVOO. Cover and seal the jar. Repeat with the other 3 jars. Turn the jars over several times to incorporate the flavors. Refrigerate for 3 at least days before serving. Lasts for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
*Tips on Sterilizing Jars: Properly-handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods. Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic, or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed. To sterilize jars, before filling with jams, pickles, or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes. Use tongs when handling the hot sterilized jars, to move them from boiling water. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.
As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.