One of Italy's best-known cheeses, fresh mozzarella is soft and spongy textured. It is sold packed in liquid at well-stocked supermarkets, cheese stores and Italian groceries. Fresh mozzarella was traditionally made from the milk of the water buffalo, but cow's milk is used elsewhere and increasingly in Italy, as well.
- 8 ripe tomatoes, sliced
- 1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt, preferably sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
On a platter, alternate slices of tomato and mozzarella. Garnish generously with basil leaves, tucking some underneath the tomatoes. Drizzle the olive oil over all, and then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.