Salad of Tomato and Mozzarella

It was not until I moved to the UK and tasted mozzarella brought directly from Italy that I realized how amazing it can be and that there is a serious art to making it. Mozzarella should be made from the milk of buffalos. When you speak to a buffalo farmer he or she will talk at length about how their particular regime of exercise and feed results in premium quality milk. I have even hadone Italian farmer tell me that he sings to his animals. Making the cheese involves separating the curds and the whey and pouring water (around 140ºF) over the cheese and mounding the balls by hand. This may sound easy enough but believe me it is not. The cheese then needs to be stored in the whey, or some salted water, to keep its softness. The general rule of thumb when buying fresh mozzarella is the softer the better. You should also eat the cheese very fresh,if its been in the fridge for more than 4-5 days then use this for cooking and buy some more to eat fresh.


4 ripe plum tomatoes
12 ripe cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons torn basil leaves
4 balls buffalo mozzarella, drained
16 leaves arugula

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Coarsely chop the plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. In a large bowl, toss the chopped tomatoes and vinegar together. Add some of the olive oil and mix again with three-fourths of the ripped basil.

Place the tomato mixture in the center of each serving plate. Tear the mozzarella into small chunks and arrange them over the tomatoes.

Drizzle with more olive oil, garnish each with a basil sprig and a few arugula leaves, season with salt and plenty of black pepper, and serve.