Beach Cottage Too Easy Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad
Mon 16th, Jan, 2012
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
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