A Prize-Winning Fresh Mozzarella and Homegrown Tomato Salad / by Alex Boake

Ah yes, here's the post you've been waiting for! It's Kate Ground's prize of a recipe and illustration featuring her favourite ingredient, Homegrown Tomatoes. Believe it or not, I used to hate raw Tomatoes. In fact, I used to hate all Tomatoes, even cooked ones! I know, it's blasphemy. I'm now a convert, and I bow down to the deliciousness of a plump, ripe, in-season Tomato. This salad is quite something. It really allows you to savour the freshness of the ingredients, so I really suggest you use in-season, local, perhaps even homegrown Tomatoes, if you can, for the best results!

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2, 250g Balls of Fresh Mozzarella
  • 4 Medium Ripe Homegrown Tomatoes
  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 4 Baby English Cucumbers
  • A Large Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves

Dressing

  • 2 Heaping Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 3/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions I love to make this type of salad look really beautiful by really arranging the ingredients nicely onto the plates. Try for your best presentation with this salad! It makes it even more delicious, scout's honour!

Depending what you're serving this with, and your personal tolerance for dairy, you can either opt for more or less mozzarella. If you're serving it with something heavy, divide one Ball of Mozzarella into 4 sections, and then slice. Divide between four plates. If you're serving this with something light then take 2 Balls of Fresh Mozzarella, divide each into 2 sections, and then slice. Make sure the pieces fairly bite-size so that people don't have to bust out their knives. Divide between the 4 plates.

Wash your delicious, ripe Tomatoes and your Cucumbers. Remove the stems, and then cut each Tomato in half once, and then slice. You can get super artful here and alternate between a piece of Mozzarella and a slice of Tomato as you divide them between the 4 plates. Thinly slice each Cucumber and spread out the slices in a ring around the plate.

Cut the Avocados in half, and remove the pits. Peel them, and then chop them up. Bestow each plate with half an Avocado, making sure you separate out the slices a bit so they are easily picked up with a fork.

Wash and dry the Fresh Basil Leaves. Remove the stems, and then stack the larger leaves, and then roll them. This makes it easy to slice them into ribbons. Take the pile of sliced leaves and divide by four, then sprinkle on top of each plate.

In a glass jar with a lid, toss in the Dijon Mustard, Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil. Seal the jar and then shake to combine. Serve the dressing on a table with a spoon and let each person drizzle their desired amount of dressing onto their salad. If you have leftover dressing just seal up the jar and refrigerate it, reserving it for another salad.

This salad is truly one of my favourites! It's especially good with Buffalo Mozzarella. However, I have recently looked into making fresh Goat's Milk Mozzarella, so you may be seeing a post about that, sometime soon! You can be sure that if I manage to pull that off that it will be appearing on my table as a key player in this very dish.