On Tuesday, the day of the summer solstice, I rushed home thinking all the way that I needed a snack to hold me through until dinner time. Ignoring the vending machine at work was not an easy task. Halfway through, it hit me – I needed a ‘small plate’. The mozzarella, tomato and strawberry salad from Around My French Table fit the bill perfectly – it was a wholesome snack to indulge my sweet tooth while getting in some protein and it took next to nothing to assemble! I was thrilled to have enough daylight to take a couple of pictures.
When a meal consists of only a few ingredients, quality is very important. I splurged and got a package of fresh mozzarella and used a splash of balsamic vinegar Eduardo and I brought back from our trip across Tuscany last year. The day we set out of Florence on our way to Sienna, we stopped at Il Molino di Grace, a Chianti winery for a quick pit stop. It was not even 10am, so we shared one tasting and went straight to the vinegars and other non-alcoholic offerings. A bottle of one of their reserve balsamic vinegars made it home with us… barely!
On our flight out of Bologna and into Bordeaux, we almost got our bottle confiscated. I forgot to put it in our checked bag. The Italian TSA wouldn’t let us empty the bottle out (no one was going to get our vinegar if we couldn’t take it with us!), so we headed back out to the terminal and into the drugstore, and bought three containers to split the contents of the bottle. I wish I could say they were classy bottles, but they were the kind of plastic jars where, um, samples are taken. DH was livid, I was mortified but tried to laugh it off. A couple of drops were lost in the process but seeing the face of the Italian TSA dude who wanted to keep our vinegar as we ‘outsmarted’ him was worth it. I’ve learned my lesson, though – it’s three ounces/100 ml on hand at all times/places… (sigh!).
The view from Il Molino di Grace
The mozzarella, tomato and strawberry salad was this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie, an online cooking club in which we work our way thorugh Around My French Table, Dorie Greenspan’s award winning cookbook. Check out how the rest of the cooks interpreted the recipe or stories inspired by it!