A wonderful medley of Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Onion, Mozzarella and Basil Leaves, thrown together in a Beautiful Tomato Salad and topped with Basil Cream.
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Basil Cream
©Flirting with Flavor by FlirtingWithFlavor.com
Pin it to your “Best Breakfasts” board to SAVE it for later!
Follow Flirting with Flavor on Pinterest for more great tips, ideas and recipes!
This beautiful and colorful salad can be served family style or as an appetizer. It tastes heavenly and fresh and light; loaded with a myriad of tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, mozzarella and fresh basil, then topped with a basil cream.
Yes, I just said “Basil Cream”, and it is just as heavenly as it sounds; a savory and creamy cloud of wonderful.
One of the first moments I can remember of truly realizing the greatness that is food and flavor combinations happened when I was about 9 years old. It was not a tomato salad; it was simply a tomato.
My mom had this fun girlfriend named Cree. Cree would come over just to chat and kill time hanging out with my mom during the day sometimes. One day Cree showed up munching on a Tomato like it was an apple. The tomato was huge and weirdly shaped, it looked as if it might even be a little dirty. I was flabbergasted.
Up until that point I had thought of Cree as the ultimate roll-model; but there she was eating dirty food in the wrong way.
I don’t know exactly what I said, however I am sure it was tactless and had a silly face to go along with it. What I do remember is that Cree laughed and said that I should never judge something until I’ve tried it, “How do you know you don’t like it if you’ve never even tried it?”
Cree told me the tomato had come fresh from her garden and that she grew her basil intertwined and all around her tomato plants so that the two could “flirt”. Cree said that right before picking a tomato to snack on, she would spray it all down with the hose which allowed the basil to let off some of it’s flavor onto the tomatoes.
I was nine; I didn’t even know what “flirting” meant. However, with the faith of an adoring child I knew that if Cree had a reason for it then maybe it was good after all. She said she had brought an extra for me and handed over a second plump, yet crisp, misshaped tomato. Yep that was definitely a bit of dirt on the tomato!
Hero Status Reinstated
First and foremost, I remember the scent as I brought it to my mouth; You could literally smell the sunshine and garden life on the flesh of the tomato. It was slightly warm from sitting in the sun and having just been picked from the vine. The tomato was firm but with just the right amount of give when I bit into it. Oh, and that bite! The subtle flavor of basil, the sweet flesh with the savory seeds and juices… even that little bit of dirt was undiluted perfection!
As the juices and seeds ran down my face, I closed my eyes and basked in the glorious summer sunshine with a very contented palate and stomach. Without a doubt Cree’s status as my roll-model was reinstated. That tomato was pure heaven!
Thumb of Death
Y’all I have a black thumb! Or a Red one? Whatever the opposite of a “green-thumb” is; that’s what I have!
I can’t even count the number of times I have attempted to grow a garden. I have put study and effort, sweat and tears; into my gardens. However, I have never yet grown a SINGLE vegetable! My herbs do okay as long as my kids water them and I don’t even look at them or think about them or mention them (Great! they probably just all died a horrible death!).
One year, I planted 18 tomato plants. 18! I tried a variety of tomato strains, and I could not wait for my bountiful harvest of awesomeness. Said “Bountiful Harvest” never happened. 18 plants and not a single tomato!
Thumb of death.
So now I purchase all my tomatoes. And that’s fine, but I’ve worked hard to create a flavor explosion of flirting ingredients as delicious as the one Cree once shared with me.
Dear Reader, you are going to LOVE this tomato salad.
Tomato salad two ways
My favorite way to eat this tomato salad is all tossed together in a bowl with a very sprinkle of salt and an even lighter drizzle of balsamic vinegar, then topped with a large dollop of Basil Cream. YUMMY!!!
However, for a prettier presentation of this delicious Tomato Salad; I suggest laying the large slices of Beefsteak tomato on a platter, brushing them with the basil bream, and then topping the whole thing with the rest of the tomato salad ingredients. Sprinkle lightly with salt and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a touch of olive oil. GORGEOUS!!!
Recipe for Delicious Mozzarella, Cucumbers, Red Onion, and Tomato Salad with Basil Cream:
- 3 Large Beefsteak Tomatoes, cut into 1cm thick slices
- 2 cups assorted small bite-size tomatoes (cherry, grape, golden, etc... Your faves!), cut into halves and quarters
- 1 small-med cucumber
- 1 quarter to 1 half of a red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of Mozzarella in cubes (fresh is best if you can!!!)
- About a dozen Basil Leaves of the more subtley flavored basil's, and you can even do assorted basil leaves (such as lime basil, Italian basil, and lemon basil)
- *The above basil varieties are best for this recipe, however sweet basil with it's large leaves does still taste wonderful!
- Salt and Pepper
- Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil (*Optional. Without the Balsamic and oil it gives the Salad a more light and fresh taste, with the Balsamic the salad has a more refined taste. Your preference.)
- 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping
- 2 Tablespoons of Finely Minced Basil Leaves
- Place minced Basil in a bowl and crush it around a bit with a spoon to help release it's flavor.
- Add Cream to the bowl and whip on med-high with a hand mixer until soft peaks are forming int he basil cream.
- Combine all Salad ingredients in a Bowl.
- When ready to serve, drizzle lightly with Oil and Vinegar, then sprinkle with Salt and Pepper.
- Scoop portions onto dishes and then top each salad with a large dollop of Basil Cream.
Thank you for following Flirting with Flavor! I hope you love this recipe and want to share it with others…