This is a classic summer salad from the beautiful island of Capri. Remember not to cut the basil with a knife or with scissors as this will alter the flavor and blacken the leaves. The juice from the tomatoes and the whey from the cheese will tend to seep out and create a lot of liquid around the salad, especially if it is not eaten immediately. In my opinion, this is the best part and must be soaked up with plenty of crusty bread. There is much debate over whether or not one should use buffalo mozzarella. I think the important thing is that the cheese should be really fresh and juicy, whichever milk it is made from. I always make this salad in a salad bowl, but you could also arrange the slices of tomato on a platter and lay the mozzarella on top. Sprinkle the basil over the top of the mozzarella and drizzle the oil over the whole dish. Finish with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Do make sure the tomatoes used are not too soft and squashy, nor should they be too green. And don’t forget to offer plenty of crusty bread to mop up the juices as you eat.
© 2008 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.