Beach Cottage Too Easy Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad

Mon 16th, Jan, 2012

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Hey lovely Beach Cottage ladies!  We’re doing a recipe today in Beach Cottage Land.

But before we start, have you joined the Beach Cottage Club?  I hope so…my weekly newsletter for all things coastal, nautical, beachy & seaside, plus some extra stuff not on the blog…be there baby!  You can find sign-up details at the end of this post or you can click the link up there on the right on my menubar.  I would love for you to join us.

Now, I have had a couple of emails over the last few weeks about salad, summer salad, winter salad, Christmas salad.  You name it, we’ve been talking salads.

And funnily enough from those of you who are not in places where it’s salad time of year…from those of you who are COLD!  Like a cold that I cannot remember…



Lesley emailed me this

Hi Sarah.  I am in the middle of Winter but still love salads, I recently tried your beet salad and, girl, we all loved it, I never would have tried beets like that, even my DH like it!  So do you have any other salads that you do all the time that I might not have tried?

Well, I have lots of salads but this one we have all the time..mostly because it’s something very tasty & moves the humble tomato to new levels.



There are probs many of you who don’t, for sure, need a recipe for Tomato & Buffalo Mozzarella salad…because, actually, there’s little more to this than arranging it on a plate, shoving on some oil and hoping for the best… …but over the years the way I make it has changed a bit..I add a couple of things you don’t normally see it with…

The first time I had this was when I was just going out with Mr Beach Cottage…in a grey, dark and working class town just outside London, in one seriously good little Italian restaurant…we about lived in that place…it was cheap and special and to our un-sophisticated very English palates, there was a little bit of magic thrown in there too.

It sat on a grimy, grey little street, with a typical front window of a 60′s/70′s working class English town, read : not too attractive… They had added some gingham curtains, thrown oilcloth on the tables, used old wine bottles for water and there were candles and the odd spray or two of flowers around.

And as we walked in off the street, through a grey, dusty aluminium shop door, we were transported to a little part of Italy we had never known.

The owners were from Calabria and the guy who ran it worked his little socks off..he could teach the waiters around here a thing or two…he worked the whole restaurant on his own, waiting all the tables, sometimes with help on a Saturday night, and we never got such good service…

the food, simple, easy, natural ingredients, dressed up with the best Italian olive oils…and one of the first times I came across my beloved friend, the humble bottle of Peroni…




So anyway, one night we tried the tomato salad…it was little more than a couple of tomatoes, some oh-so-very thinly cut blades of red onion, dressed with olive oil, a smattering of balsamic and lots of salt..I had never tasted something quite as good, in the depths of that grey little English town on a grey little summer’s evening…here we ate and drank and pretended we were chic and rich and Continental..

Then I upgraded to the buffalo Mozzarella salad, it was another of their simple but divine starters…in those days you didn’t find Mozarrella in England gracing the shelves of every supermarket, and I thought it quite exotic, this little ball of Italian cheese that slipped down so very pleasantly and quite honestly, I have been trying it all over the place ever since…




So over the years, I have had this various ways…recently had it at my friend Ali’s house…she used the mini Bocconcini and cherry tomatoes, basil leaves threaded onto cocktails sticks and dressed with oil on the plate…really nice way to serve it as a little appetiser on the deck…



My fave though has become adding chives and a clove of garlic…I always have chives growing in my garden, but if you don’t have them or don’t want to pay for a little pot of them… I use Spring Onion (you may call that shallot) as finely sliced as possible…or at a push a regular onion

…I also like to finely chop a clove of garlic..much much better when it is new garlic, but if you are a garlic lover it doesn’t really matter…



So what follows is a casual guideline for the salad…foof around with it ’til you get what you like…you can’t go wrong!





Beach Cottage Too Easy Tomato & Basil Mozzarella Salad


3 cups sliced tomatoes

2 cups  mozzarella buffalo cheese

 1 clove garlic finely chopped

1 handful chives, ripped or snipped

small handful basil leaves

olive oil

salt & pepper

Lay on a plate & drizzle with olive oil and a generous grinding of salt & pepper




Beach Cottage Notes*  I like to use different colour tomatoes if I have grown them or can find them in the shops…particularly the black and the yellow  *  I prefer the whole balls of mozzarella to the mini bocconcini…just because I like the ripped and rough and ready look on the plate, yeah I am weird like that * if you happen to have any leftovers use for bruschetta   *the amounts above are for a fairly large salad, adjust accordingly for your family  *I often do this as a starter to sit on the deck with and pick at  *I am no food snob but by the best Mozzarella you can afford…you’ll know it when you taste it  * I like to use an old vintage platter to serve  *the platter above is a smaller version of the main recipe…play with the quantitiesas you will



So, if you need a little bit of summer in your life, or you are sitting on a deck, feeling all coastal, propping up an Adirondack, or you are stuck in the depths of Winter and are happy to forego the Food Mile thing, then get yourself one of these tasty little salads…on a vintage platter…a white one, no less, and think of me

That’s it from the beaches, little Beach Cottage peeps…errrm I have the bathroom to show you next…I hope you can take a DEEP breath in and imagine what this will look like when it’s finished ‘cos right now it looks downright frightful…

Catchy ya layta






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55 Responses to “Beach Cottage Too Easy Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad”

  1. Love Caprese Salad… I make an altered version for parties… using cherry tomatoes and mini-moz. balls… basil- all stacked on a toothbpick… huge favorite among my friends… this looks like it might makes its way into my menu this week

  2. Karla says:

    This look nummy. Love your little stop motion clips. :)

  3. cheryl says:

    Looks so yummy and the Peroni of course is an added bonus:)) Enjoy!!
    Fresh Vanilla For C

  4. marcia says:

    I just love me some caprese! Mine is simply tomato, basil, mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Perfect anytime of year but especially in the summer when tomatoes are at their peak! Fun posting Sarah. I like how the images are like mini movies! Marcia

  5. looks beautiful! I saw the same salad on another blog over the weekend and she stuck it under the grill for a few seconds to melt the cheese a bit, and called it breadless pizza to get her child to eat it :)

  6. Fiona says:

    love me a caprese salad (and a beetroot and walnut one) and the peroni tops it off. great photography yet again. Sarah you hsould do a post on how to layer the photos like a video. love it
    cheers Fiona

  7. Deanne says:

    We have fresh tomatoes and basil in the garden- now for the mozzarella!

  8. Well that looks beautiful, summery, and delicious and most importantly, doable. ❈ But what is a Peroni? A beer, or soft drink?

    • sarah says:

      Hi Jen

      Peroni is an Italian beer…..it works very well in hot weather, and I covet it


      • I’ll have to keep my eye out for Peroni at the specialty markets when summer returns. White wintery wonderland at the moment, made winter squash soup for dinner that was divine…. bet my husband would have really liked a beer with that too come to think of it (wink). ❈

  9. YUM! This reminds me of one of my favorite summer salads that I make. This has three of my favorite things tomatos, fresh basil, and motzarella! You just cannot go wrong. LOVE that combo!

    And I love it when our tomatos are fresh from the garden.

    CAN’T WAIT to see the bathroom.

  10. Alice says:

    My kind of food Sarah… I was thinking of doing something like this for my lunch today only I don’t have mozzarella so I was going to use haloumi cheese. I love garlic but find it hard to eat it raw (even when diced very finely) so I usually either crush it (and mix it into the olive oil and balsamic vingar together)or I use a generous dose of garlic salt sprinkled on the tomatoes. I am also loving this Salad onion that Woolies is selling (exceptionally mild, similar to the white onion but even more mild), so mild that my eyes don’t even shed a tear (usually it can get so bad that I have to stop a quater of the way in and leave the kitchen to provide my eyes some relief). Me being me, I am also going to add some ham(off the bone) to this just to add a bit more protein to the plate hee…hee…

    Tomatoes remind me of my deceased grandma… When I was little we (my parents and brother) lived with her (and grandad) in the european country side for a year…. I used to have to go down the really steep steps out of the kitchen to her vegie patch to pick huge, juicy tomatoes for the daily salad she would make everyday… She used to always get me to pick the green tomatoes… I used to love eating them. Funny enough I have never seen them here though I have noticed that supermarkkets are bringing in different varieties now (about time)…

    • sarah says:

      I like the sound of your lunch Alice

      yes I was very surprised here how there aren’t many varieties of tomatoes in the shops…with the huge and lovely variety of fruit and veg we have here I always think why no yellow, black tomatoes and different varieties? weird

      there’s nothing like picking a fresh tom from the garden and popping it in your mouth is there?

  11. Fleur says:

    Yummmmmm and love the stop motion! Love from Rainy Noosa xx

  12. Mummaducka says:

    I too like those black tomatoes that woolies used to have, I haven’t seen them this year.I have this salad with truffle oil, you can really appreciate the truffle flavour, I use the Simon johnson white truffle oil, yummo!

    • Mummaducka says:

      Ha! I bought the buffalo mozzarella today and some yummo tomatoes, I remembered the name of the black ones, Kumato. We haven’t seen them here this year! I have the basil in the garden, So I have all the goodies ready to go for brunch tomorrow.

      • sarah says:

        I hoped you enjoyed…I haven’t seen any different tomatoes this year and the yellow ones in my garden didn’t do so well xo

  13. Just copied out the recipe. It’s got simple written all over it- my kind of recipe!! Thanks for sharing

    • sarah says:

      you are welcome…I love writing out recipes when you find them, I have scraps of paper all over the place! x

  14. Suzanne says:

    Looks great!! Do you have a favourite mozzarella to recommend??
    I tried to join your newsletter, but I did not get a follow up email that it required!
    Fab photography Sarah!!

  15. Tammi says:

    I love this combination of ingredients. We often have it layered much like the appetiser you mentioned….so good :)

  16. Rukmini Roy says:

    Thanks to you, I just got my lunch sorted. :) I dont know if I would get that cheese here, at the moment, but think Ricotta would taste alright or even go with it? I have all the other ingredients. Love the gif files you’ve put. Specially the last one.

  17. Katrina says:

    Ah just what I’m having for lunch (yes i know it’s late for lunch but ended up at fire shed for a while) gone for the thick slice of roma tomato, salt, pepper, basil leaf, avacado, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil MMmmmmmm just what i needed in this heat

  18. Yep loving this recipe Sarah- I may even buy myself some Peroni’s to crack with it!

    I’ve been throwing mango’s into every salad I’ve made since Christmas- perhaps it’s time to get a little Italian ;-)

    You’ve inspired me to get my vege/herb/salad garden idea’s underway!

    Melissa x

  19. Susan says:

    I have a deep deep love of bruschetta…… yes, it runs Deeeeep. But I also have a sad, deep love of all things fetta… so I substitute and am in a little slice of Italian heaven each time.

    GREAT shots……. love them all. XX

  20. Ingrid says:

    So funny, this is my favorite salad my husband makes for me minus the mozerrella. Surprisngly, tomatoes are hard to grow here. It’s either too hot, too mildewe or too windy. I’ve tried so many times to grow them but seem to only get one good crop from them then they wilt and die. I do hope that in my new house that I will have better luck in growing them. Aloha!

    • sarah says:

      that’s a shame Ingrid, I have a friend who has the same with her garden here.. even with this summy climate, her garden produces, for some reason, mildew tomatoes…go figure xx

  21. Ayame says:

    Hello! I am an Italian girl. This is a special delight in my area: Mediterranean.
    Tomatoes and mozzarella I produce them at home, because I live in a rural area where natural products are grown!
    See you soon. Your blog is wonderful!

  22. Fleur says:

    Makes me simply want to tuck my happy little self on a deck with a plate of garden goodness… and forget I have 4 kids :) Am I allowed to do that?? ;)

  23. Barefoot Liz says:

    I love that salad but am not supposed to eat tomatoes. I could think about using eggplant (aubergine) or summer squash instead of tomatoes.

  24. such cool photography!! and the salad looks amazing–now I’ll have to go make it for lunch

  25. Glennie says:

    Yummy. And I just love how you’ve layered the photo’s – very flash!!

  26. Robyn says:

    I’ve always been a massive salad lover. In fact this evening on this really hot summers days here in Melbourne – we had chicken salad for supper. Have you tried your salad with mixed seeds? Always add to mine….

  27. One of my faves…it looks LOVELY!!!