It’s been weeks since I’ve shown my face around here but I have a very good excuse – we moved. Yes. Again. As in packed-up-all-our-worldly-belongings-into-boxes-then-loaded-them-onto-a-truck-and-unpacked-them-at-our-new-place moved. Mind boggling isn’t it? As if moving isn’t horrendous enough but doing it twice in eight months is staggering, no exaggeration. We were exhausted for days – weeks even, well I was. After our last move that was so hideous, my husband decided we were going to do it ourselves this time. Just writing that makes me shudder. Thank god two of his friends from work graciously offered to help (or they were coerced). Heroes in my mind. We owe them dinner at our place. I think I’ve finally settled on a menu…then I change my mind. So typical of me. So typical.
We love our new location and the proximity to favorite beaches, cafes, bars, food markets, friends and more importantly my husband’s work. It was necessary to move. I’m heading back home shortly to be with my family and help them during what is a difficult time for all of us & the hairless duo will need to be let out during the day. We were too far away for my husband to pop home from work during the day to let them out so we had to move. And here we are – in our new home. But enough about that, onto food and new and exciting things with my blog!
Firstly, some blog changes: Now there’ll be nutritional information added to each recipe thanks to a snazzy new recipe template. So for those of you that like to know how many carbs, calories and such are in my recipes, this will be a welcome addition. Also there’s now a search bar where you can search for recipes on here in a couple of different ways – by categories or tags. And, I’m changing the name of the blog too…stay tuned for that announcement. It’s actually already done, I’m just waiting for the design work to be done to the header.
Last weekend we went to the crazy, bustling Mazzaro’s Italian Market in St Petersburgh, Florida. The Italians have contributed to so many fabulous things – art, fashion, exotic cars and of course food. Passionate about their food, the Italians and are second only to the French in their snobbery of it. I don’t even care about that. I like they’re disconcerting about what they feed themselves and their families. When it comes to food, embracing life and living passionately, we can learn a lot from Italians.
I am by no means suggesting this easy-to-make salad is Italian in origin, but it does contain several ingredients used in Italian cooking so it’s Italian-inspired. I went a little nuts in the Italian market – buffalo mozzarella & regular cow mozzarella that was still warm from being made that morning; crusty, chewy breads; loads of fresh basil; prosciutto and such. We met some friends there and enjoyed some excellent coffee and of course some classic Italian pastries before embarking on the rest of our shopping which was decidedly uneventful in comparison.
Because of the simplicity of the salad use the freshest and best ingredients you can. I like to use Campari tomatoes because they’re consistently good & hothouse-grown so they’re available year-round. I also like to enjoy some olives with this salad. My favorite are the olive oil cured black olives with chili. This salad is a regular on our weekend lunch menu and during the summer months I also make it for dinner. Serve it with a crisp, dry white wine and presto! You have a nice meal you can put together in 10 minutes without even turning the oven on. Works for me.
- 1 lb (450g) medium vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 8 oz (226g) fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and torn
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil leaves
- 4 oz (113g) thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 1/3 cup baby arugula (rocket) leaves
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup thinly shaved parmesan cheese
- Crusty bread, to serve
- Olives, to serve
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Arrange tomatoes on serving platter or four, individual plates; sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic.
- Arrange mozzarella over tomatoes; sprinkle with basil.
- Loosely roll each slice of prosciutto up and place on mozzarella.
- Add arugula. Drizzle with vinegar, juice and olive oil.
- Sprinkle with parmesan. Serve with bread, olives and lemon wedges.