There really is nothing quite like Italy.
Out of all of the inspiration I had from my trip, perhaps the most transformative was the way simplicity seemed to inform everything. From style, to art, to pace of life. The Italians really know how to take something simple and make it feel luxurious.
And no where was this element of luxurious simplicity more evident than in the FOOD.
Simple, seasonally fresh and uncomplicated recipes that somehow simultaneously feel indulgent and elevated.
So, I decided to try and tear out a little page from playbook Italia and recreate a simple, seasonal, elevated salad that is substantial enough to make you feel full and also light enough for the hot summer months.
By pairing fresh crispness of ripe seasonal tomatoes, garden fresh basil, cucumber and raddish this salad is refreshing enough to cool you off on a hot summer day and by adding the creamy saltiness of the feta and olives it also just feels the tiniest bit indulgent. Its a perfect Italian pairing if you ask me.
Finishing it off with some bright lemon zest, fig balsamic and Italian olive oil just takes it to all the right places.
Tomato Basil Summer Salad
3 Persian cucumbers quartered and copped
6-8 Campari tomatoes quartered lengthwise
3-4 large raddishes thinly sliced
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil cut into ribbons
zest of a half lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 block feta (vegan or traditional)
Extra-Virgin olive oil (make sure its high quality)
Fig Balsamic Vinegar
In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix together. Drizzle with olive and balsamic to taste. Serve with extra basil and some coarse sea salt.
For dessert try some fresh peaches or nectarines. How gorgeous are these babies?