Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Salad (Tricolore)

Although my husband doesn't eat cold cheese (only melted...I know...weird) he loves cold mozzarella. This is one of his favourite salads and he asks for it often during the summer when Icelandic tomatoes start to appear in the shops. Although Icelandic tomatoes are nice, I prefer tomatoes on the vine (not available here). They must be very ripe but firm. I love adding ripe avocados to this salad although, I admit not very Italian to do. It also provides added health benefits since avocados are so very good for us, especially our heart.

Note that when I am in a  hurry I sometimes omit steps 1 and 2.


This lovely salad has the colours of the Italian flag; red, green and white

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Nut free

Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Salad (Tricolore)

Serves 2 as a snack/starter

Ingredients

  • 3 large and ripe tomatoes, soaked, peeled and sliced in fairly thick slices
  • 150 grams (5¼ oz) mozzarella cheese, sliced in fairly thick slices
  • Half an avocado, ripe, but firm (optional), sliced in fairly thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped very coarsely
  • Pinch of salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • Pinch of coarsely ground pepper (black)

Preparation

  1. Place the 3 tomatoes in a medium bowl and pour boiling hot water over them.
  2. Remove after 1 minute and peel the skin off the tomatoes. Be careful not to burn your hands.
  3. Slice the tomatoes in fairly thick slices.
  4. Slice the 150 grams mozzarella in fairly thick slices.
  5. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Gently twist the two halves in opposite direction if you find the flesh clinging to the pit. Remove the pit, either with a spoon or by spearing with the tip of a knife. Place the halves face down, then peel and slice in fairly thick slices.
  6. Alternate tomato slices and mozzarella slices on a serving dish. Place avocado slices in between (if used).
  7. Tear or chop the 10 basil leaves very coarsely (to bring out their flavour) and scatter over the salad.
  8. Pour the 1 tablespoon olive oil over the salad.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tips

  • You can prepare this salad a couple of hours ahead although if using avocado, slice them as close to serving time as possible (they will discolour quickly). If preparing in advance, cover the salad with cling film.