June 30, 2013

Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Salad

Years ago, over lunch with a friend, I ordered only a tomato mozzarella salad at a South African restaurant. 

When the food arrived, I stared at the few slices of tomato and chunks of mozzarella with dismay. Surely there was more to this dish? 

Admittedly, it was delicious, if not a little light. I occasionally have quite the appetite (the Sailor often refers to it as 'the Monster'...) so naturally I found myself hungry again within the hour. 

I decided I wouldn't bother ordering such a salad ever again. 

It seems I've missed out over the years, because this salad really is a delightful compliment to a meal, or a light dish all on its own.

This week at the local grocery store, I found myself staring at their strategically placed marketing ploy: a living Basil plant, vine ripe tomatoes, and a ball of mozzarella all within reach of one another.
I fell for the bait. 

This whole week, I've been eating the combo as a salad, feeling very Italian, wondering why I waited so long to try this again. 

It's so simple -- yet so delicious. Simply chop the tomatoes and mix with the mozzarella and a few basil leaves. Sprinkle olive oil over the top, add fresh ground pepper and kosher salt. I like to add a few garlic slices to mine for an extra kick. 

Add an Italian wine, and voila: your summertime lunch or light dinner. 

(*Bonus points if you serve your salad on a vintage Pyrex plate.)

What's your latest summertime favorite dish?

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