Since we "taste" food with our eyes first, I thought it time that I give a little nudge in the "plating" area of your kitchen skills. There is no real cooking involved with this dish. It's all about gathering the highest quality ingredients available and artfully assembling them on a plate. I'm in the anti-food-as-architecture camp and more about making things visually appealing. I love throwing this together (it literally takes less than 5 minutes) and serving it for a light lunch with some grilled bread.
This, to me, is summer on a plate. I would love to have my hands on some of my Dad's warm-from-the-sun heirlooms right now but will have to make do with some sweet grape tomatoes from Mexico. Make it a little more decadent by using burrata, add texture with some toasted pine nuts or color with a few olives. The edible flowers may seem a tad indulgent but they are gorgeous and put a smile on most people's faces especially in the dead of winter.
buffalo mozzarella and grape tomato salad
2 large balls of buffalo mozzarella or burrata, sliced
8 grape tomatoes, halved
4-5 basil leaves, stacked, rolled and sliced into thin ribbons
edible flowers (available in many better grocery stores typically sold in a plastic clamshell alongside the other fresh herbs)
extra-virgin olive oil
Start with the cheese and tomatoes.
Add the basil ribbons and season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle the entire salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, doing a little Jackson Pollack thing, if you like, or something more linear.