Sometimes the simplest of recipes taste the best - and this Seasonal Summer Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella Salad Recipe is just that. If you are lucky enough to have a garden or yard large enough to grow your own tomatoes, then you should. They are so easy to harvest and seem to multiply overnight, giving you an abundance of the sweetest and tastiest of home grown produce.
This recipe can be made a couple of ways - by using sliced, fresh mozzarella and layering it together with sliced tomatoes (beefsteak or heirloom work well) and other ingredients on a platter, as in this recipe. Or you can use fresh Bocconcini mozzarella (little fresh balls) along with grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half, with diced red onion along with the recipe ingredients and served from a bowl.
Personally, when I am having company over to the house I love to use a platter - especially for this recipe only because of the way the ingredients are layered around the plate they are very eye-appealing and look so attractive on the table.
This is a wonderful appetizer or first course plate - and if you can't afford the fresh mozzarella - and some of us cant right? Well, don't worry - go budget-friendly and buy the deli mozzarella at your grocery store and have them slice it for you.
I've used deli mozzarella often in recipes such as this and splurge on the fresh when my pocket book allows it. Whatever you choose, it will still taste great. Use up your excess tomatoes for a memorable, fresh & seasonal summer salad. Enjoy!
1/3 cup olive oil
4 sprigs fresh oregano (stripped) or 1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
5 fresh large ripe tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
A good handful of large, fresh basil leaves
2 ripe avocados
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Extra kosher salt and pepper
Butter lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
Shaved parmesan curls for garnish (optional)
1. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, fresh or dried oregano, salt and pepper. In a separate large bowl, place the tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, red onion and drizzle the olive oil mixture over the ingredients. Toss gently to combine and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more to combine flavors.
2. Cut the avocado in half and carefully remove the seed. Dice the avocado while still in its skin and scoop it out with a spoon into a small bowl. Gently toss the avocado with the lemon juice (this will stop the avocado from turning brown,) a sprinkle of kosher salt, ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Line your platter with the butter lettuce leaves making sure that the wavy (floppy) side of the leaves face outwards around the edge (it just looks prettier.) Next, layer the tomatoes, basil leaves, mozzarella and red onion alternately around the plate and pile the diced avocado into the center. Drizzle the excess olive oil marinade over the ingredients on the platter, including the avocado - and garnish with the parmesan curls if using.