I love all things Italian. Ever since I read Frances Mayes journals of her years in Italy, I have been addicted. In Under the Tuscan Sun she talks about the simplicity of Italian cooking. She writes about how the Italians do everything the old way and how easy it is to cook with fresh ingredients that she finds at the market daily.
My market is the garden outside my back door. Right now, we have red tomatoes daily which we are just stuffing ourselves with because they are so delicious. One of my favorite ways to use cherry tomatoes is in this Italian Tomato Salad.
You will need:
1 quart cherry tomatoes, yellow or red or combination
1 can whole black olives, pitted
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
(You can also purchase prepared Balsamic Vinegar Dressing, Paul Newman’s is a good brand to try)
Salt and Pepper
Wash tomatoes and pat dry, slice in half if desired (my kids like them better this way, they don’t squish in your mouth when you bite into them). In a small bowl combine tomatoes, cheese, olives and basil. Sprinkle the tomatoes liberally with olive oil, then add 1 table spoon balsamic vinegar. Toss until coated, add salt and pepper as desired.
Serve with fresh Italian Peasant Bread, some cold sliced meats and perhaps a glass of wine.
You could even feast outside in the garden for the ultimate taste experience. It’s the next best thing to being in Italy.