Mozzarella is one of the most flexible cheeses, applicable to a number of dishes.

While some cheeses need age to reach their full potential, mozzarella is a cheese where it’s a case of “the fresher the better.” Some chefs are able to make mozzarella in-house, scalding water and all. But even when not housemade, mozzarella has the ability to telegraph that vibe of “this is fresh!”

Sticking with Italian flavors is always a win, as seen at Elon University’s Flat-Out Made to Order Flatbreads station, where mozzarella is simply adorned with marinara, herbs and not much more. Mozz is the finishing touch on brunchy stuffed peppers by FLIK Hospitality Group, and it’s the center-of-the-plate star on top of polenta at Rutgers University.

With a mild flavor that pairs well with so many ingredients (smoked or cured meats, a sprinkle of aromatic herbs, flavored vinegars, roasted veggies, fresh fruits and more), mozzarella is definitely having a moment. Here are three ways to add it to your menu.

Mozzarella Polenta – Nicknamed “Heaven on Earth,” this versatile dish at Rutgers starts with firm slices of polenta (great use for leftovers) that’s grilled and topped with marinara and a gorgeous ball of fresh mozzarella. It’s then broiled or roasted to get super melty. Rutgers chefs change it up with cheesy grits from breakfast instead of polenta, and sauces like bechamel or veggie stock velouté.

Veggie Frittata Stuffed Peppers – This dish has “brunch all day” written all over it. Developed by FLIK’s culinary team, these sweet red bell peppers are hollowed out and placed into a muffin pan, then filled with veggies and eggs. Of course, these wouldn’t be nearly as tempting without the final touch: mozzarella for melting.

Margarita Flatbread – Flat-Out Made to Order Flatbreads, an Elon concept by Harvest Table Culinary Group, pairs freshly made dough with fresh ingredients, including mozzarella. There’s a new persimmon burrata flatbread on the scene at Flat-Out that uses mozzarella’s creamier form, burrata. And then there’s this classic margarita flatbread that keeps things simple and satisfying.