Mozzarella, Tomato, & Olive Salad

It’s official.  I have summer fever for sure.  All I can think about is sitting out at my pool with my Nook, not having to wake up for work, and heading to my cousin’s private beach club.  Another thing I love about summer is all of the great salads people make during the hot months.  I guess that’s why I was in the mood for a good salad tonight.  And, boy, was it good.

The name really says it all for this dish.  It’s a simple mix of grape tomatoes, black olives, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and a delicious vinaigrette.  I started by making my favorite dressing using Good Seasonings.  It’s so easy to make (especially with their bottle).  Make whatever you like though (or just but a bottle of your favorite dressing).  If you want to try my version of Good Seasonings, here it is…

  • Start by filling the bottle with balsamic vinegar up to the V line.  (If you prefer red wine vinegar, go for it!)
  • Add water up to the W line.
  • Add 1 packet of the seasoning.
  • Cover, and shake vigorously.
  • Add 1/4 cup more water and 1/4 cup EVOO.  (If you prefer, you can just add 1/2 cup of oil.  I like to lighten it up though.)
  • Cover and shake again.

And you’re done!  It’s so easy!  Okay, onto the salad…

  • Slice 3 cups of grape tomatoes in half (that’s 1 and 1/2 pints).
  • Add to the bottom of a large bowl.
  • Drain 1 can of large black olives (pitted) and slice them in half.
  • Add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
  • Drain 1/2 cup of bocconcini (small balls of mozzarella) and cut them into quarters.
  • Add the cheese to the bowl.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Tear up (or chiffonade) some fresh basil and add it to the bowl.
  • Add 1/2 cup of your vinaigrette.
  • Season with black pepper.  (You an add salt too, if you’d like.  But be careful – the olives are salty.)
  • Stir to fully incorporate everything.

I let the salad sit out for about 20 minutes to let the flavors blend before serving it.  I served with a yummy new tilapia dish.  (Look out for that recipe tomorrow!)  Enjoy!

Oh, and one last very important thing: Make sure you get the perfect bite!  A piece of tomato, an olive, some basil, and some cheese.  The combination of the sweet tomato, salty olive, and creamy cheese plus the freshness of the basil is fantastic!  Yum yum yum!

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