The flavor combination of tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil ranks very high on my list of favorite flavor combinations. (Add some prosciutto and a loaf of crusty bread and we’re really talking!) The freshness, the burst of flavors, the textures, the smell, and the vibrancy of the colors all woo me. Even the simplicity of the combination is appealing–just grab the fresh ingredients and go. No prep work required. No kitchen tools or gadgets. Maybe it evokes nostalgia of simpler times. Or maybe I like a good reason to buy bouquets of basil at the farmer’s market. Or to talk to the tomato vendor about his tomatoes. Whatever the reason, I find this salad to be pleasing both to my eye and my palette.
- 2 large field tomatoes, sliced thick
- 16 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thick
- 10-15 fresh basil leaves, rinsed
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup good olive oil
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Start by layering tomatoes across a platter. Top with cheese, then basil. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Repeat the layering until you have used all of your tomato slices. Serve with a fresh crusty loaf of Italian bread.