Summer is for simplicity. The ingredients available right now are so good by themselves, they don't need a heavy cover up. And let's face it...it's usually too hot to eat anything heavy anyway. During our recent trip to Disney World last week (so, Orlando in late July...) all I wanted were beverages. Except that one night I ate poutine at 10 PM (worth it). So for normal life activities that don't involve walking miles in the Florida sun, I look for light but still filling meals. This tomato mozzarella dish has been our lunch for days and days and days. And if someone stops by or you are headed to a winery for the day, MAKE THIS. You are going to look so good, because it's an exceptionally photogenic and easy to eat dish while holding a wine glass. Priorities.
Now if we want to get professionally picky about this, no, this is not a balanced meal. If we added maybe some salmon or chicken and some greens, I would say, well done. But every meal doesn't need to be perfect. And in summer, please cut yourself some slack. Summer is supposed to be a little more relaxed. If we are all wound so tight year round, it's just bad. Chill vibes, chill vibes, okay? It's literally my job to think about nutrition, and I'm telling you, it is OKAY to not have a perfect meal every time. Just make it worth it. Maybe put a little bit more thought into the sourcing and plating? Or not. that's okay too.
Now there is nothing new or special about this recipe. Tomato and mozzarella salads are everywhere. This is not a secret special recipe. It's just the honest truth of what Chris and I are loving right now. How we make it better is by picking a high quality mozzarella (check out your farmer's market- test out the cheese! There's this guy at our market in Virginia who makes smoked mozz.), getting in season tomatoes (if you make this in December don't even talk to me), and adding lots of fragrant basil and lastly...Maldon salt.
That is the one thing we're doing differently compared to last year with this dish. Maldon is the stuff of dreams. It's just salt. It really is. Chemically there's nothing that makes it better than normal cheap-ass salt on the bottom shelf at the grocery. The difference, and why I think it's worth it, comes to the shape and therefore the texture. Maldon is flakey and pyramid shaped. That means when you sprinkle it on the top of your completed dish, it doesn't dissolve immediately and when you take a bite, you really get the salt effect. Do NOT buy this salt and use it during cooking. It's a finishing salt. So buy it, but only use it at the end. Also delicious on steak. Just in case you're wondering.
Simple Southern Summer Tomato and Mozzarella
serves as many as you want- just keep adding!
/// Ingredients ///
- tomatoes (it doesn't matter the variety or shape or size. Pick what speaks to you. This would be amazing with big slabs of gnarly heirlooms)
- mozzarella (again, lots of varieties here. It's awesome with smoked mozzarella or even little pearls!)
- olive oil
- basil leaves
- Maldon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
/// Directions /// You can do this! You don't need directions! Just slice and dice and cut and throw it on a plate. The goal is to make it easy to get a good balance of each ingredient in every bite. You do you.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.