My wife and I adore this salad. I’m not sure when we first had it but I strongly recall dining on this one sun-drenched afternoon on the shores of Lake Como. I suspect every time thereafter I’m trying to recapture that little bit of sunshine.
As with many of my favourites, it celebrates and unites it’s ingredients, sumultaneously making the most of them and allowing each to sing. It can’t really be called a recipe, it’s just sliced tomatoes (room-temperature), torn up mozzarella, basil leaves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. But it’s the choice of components that makes this; you’ve got to have the ripest, juiciest tomatoes; the milkiest, most tender mozzarella; peppery basil; and sweet-sharp vinegar. For me it’s the vinegar that completes the dish. The one I tend to use is frighteningly expensive, but pours like syrup and tastes divine.
No matter what time of year it is, this is summer.