It’s amazing when interesting things happen in the most unexpected places. A few months ago, Sara Moulton made a stop at a local kitchen store in Pittsburgh to conduct a cooking demo and promote her new book. The weather wasn’t the most cooperative as rain poured intensely for much of the morning. I nearly decided to stay home until I told myself to suck it up and make the most of my day off. Looking back, I’m definitely glad I went.
Sara’s demo was amazing as she effortlessly engaged with the audience that surrounded the U-shape cooking space. Her new book called Everyday Family Dinners is jam packed with over 200 recipes that everyone in your household are sure to enjoy.
Recently, I ran across a recipe in her book that featured a unique spin on a traditional caprese salad. Anyone who reads this site regularly would know I am no stranger to the delicious combination of tomato, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. But, I never considered adding fresh avocado to the mix. Sure it’s a simple addition to an already easy dish, but that’s what makes it so interesting. The additional ingredient added texture and completely elevated the flavor profile.
I was so thrilled with the outcome of the pictures I took of the completed dish; I decided to share them with Sara directly via her website. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much more of a response than a courtesy thank you from someone who is as busy traveling the country and making TV appearances as her. Saying I was surprised to see a response the next morning exclaiming she loved the pictures and wanted to post them on her site is a dramatic understatement. I was over-the-moon giddy.
Sara not only used my photo (and gave me credit), she also gave me a full shout out in the first paragraph. The post totally made my week. I can’t think of a better way to conclude this story than through a virtual “high-five” with my fellow readers. **SLAP!
Summer Salad from Paris
2 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes, or 5 plum tomatoes, or 2 cups cherry tomatoes
8 ounces lightly salted mozzarella (preferably fresh)
2 ripe Hass avocados
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Slice the tomatoes 1/3-inch thick and salt them on both sides. Set aside 10 minutes and then gently pat dry with paper towels.
Slice the mozzarella 1/3-inch thick and cut slices in half if large. Halve, seed, peel, and slice the avocados 1/3-inch thick. Coarsely shred the basil leaves or leave them whole. Layer all the ingredients decoratively on a plate and drizzle liberally with olive oil.
Adapted from: A Summer Salad from Paris by Sara Moulton