This is a dish I can literally have every day, all summer long. It fits the bill on any hot and humid day when you need something a little lighter as a summer side dish, or it can easily be enjoyed as a main course, which is typically how I like to roll. This one gets a little extra kick from purple basil (seek it out at the farmers market), aged balsamic vinegar and cured Moroccan black olives. It takes a classic to the ultimate.
3 large heirloom tomatoes
1 pound fresh mozzarella
15-20 purple basil leaves
2 tablespoons Moroccan black olives, pitted and chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Aged balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
Heat grill on high. Make sure to clean the grill of any debris.
Cut tomatoes into one-inch wedges. When the grill is ready, grill the tomato wedges for about two minutes per side.
Serve wedges of tomatoes and torn mozzarella with some purple basil leaf and black olives on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and a couple tablespoons of aged balsamic. Add a touch of salt and pepper.
Amanda Elliott is the chef at Peachtree Catering in Columbia. She also authors the website www.rusticsupper.com.