Sometimes a classic salad is the best choice and easiest “go-to” salad for a summer evening. This dish is certainly one of the old standbys that works for many occasions. Summer tomatoes are the best for this dish and thin slices of fresh mozzarella are super tasty. I grow basil every summer in my garden and in pots on my deck. I love fresh basil and snipping it right before placing into the salad brings the freshest taste to the plate.
After slicing the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, and placing on a plate, I drizzle the salad very slightly with balsamic vinegar. To change-up the flavor, try one of the many types of balsamic vinegars available, such as: lemon, currant or honey. Chop the basil leaves in thin strips and sprinkle around the top of the salad. I decorate the center with large pieces of the basil plant.
I also serve this dish with grilled bread. Slice a baguette on an angle and brush lightly with olive oil on both sides and grill. Serve with the salad.
And, as a side note, I use my mother’s Franciscan ivy plate as it brings back so many summer memories for me. This dish can be served on a variety of plates, often slender rectangular plates or even bread boards.