Insalata Tricolore

If you are lucky enough to have some decent tomatoes, a big, blousy buffalo mozzarella and avocado that is fully ripe but not squishy, that is the time to make this classic dish. I’m making it a lot at the moment and it was very popular for lockdown lunches, interspersed, while the season lasts, with British asparagus and soft-poached eggs. There are countless ways of presenting insalata tricolore; on a large platter for sharing, the overlapping slices chunky or slim but here roughly hewn to fit neatly into one of my beloved Apilco oval porcelain gratin dishes. With crusty bread and butter, it’s hard to beat. Quantities are approximate, vary up or down and use mint, as I did, instead of basil

Serves 2

3 vine tomatoes

1 buffalo mozzarella cheese

1 ripe but firm avocado

½ lemon

olive oil

basil leaves

     Cut the core out of the tomatoes in a pointed plug shape. Slice thickly. Thickly slice the mozzarella. Run a sharp knife round the length of the avocado, cutting to the stone. Twist apart the halves, winkle out the stone with the knife and remove the skin and slice thickly. Squeeze over the lemon juice. Arrange everything in a muddle of your choice on a plate/plates/platter or dish like mine, squeeze and splash with olive oil. Season with freshly grated black pepper and a crumble of Maldon sea salt (if poss). Decorate with basil leaves. Best if left for a few minutes for the juices to mingle and develop but not for too long because the avo will discolour.