With the 4th of July looming, I’ve been invited to a virtual potluck with the SoCal Lady Bloggers; and like any decent potluck, I do have to bring a dish to the party; so here’s my contribution below.
This time of year, I am always happy that I have a garden. Some seasons I tend to ignore it; but this time of year I’m just thankful that I’ve had enough foresight to plant some vegetables for my dinner table.
Several years ago, I discovered the inspiration for this recipe in a magazine; and now my neighbor and I will make this salad several times over the course of tomato season–whenever we get enough home-grown tomatoes to fill our bowls.
Over the years I’ve adjusted and changed the ingredients–testing and trying out different combinations of things, until I have settled on this (you may adjust ingredients as you like–I tend to be one of those cooks who measures by sight rather than by utensils anyway).
- 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes (depending on how much you want to make, I generally just fill a bowl)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese; fresh if possible, cut into bite-size pieces (optional if you like or don’t like cheese)
- ¼ cup fruity olive oil (again–this depends on the amount of tomatoes used)
- 5+ tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I LOVE balsamic vinegar; you should do a taste test before step 2)
- fresh chopped parsley
- fresh basil (chopped for the dressing, some whole leaves for appearance at the end)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (I don’t always add oregano)
- ½ teaspoon salt (lately, I’ve been experimenting with different salts–current favorite is from Pampered Chef)
- fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoons white or brown sugar
- In a small bowl or cup, mix together oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, salt, and sugar.
- Pour dressing over cherry tomatoes and mozzarella chunks in a serving dish, and gently stir to coat. Chill for at least 2 hours–the longer it marinates, the better it tastes.
- Gently stir from bottom to top, coating all the tomatoes and cheese, and garnish with whole basil leaves before serving.