Tis the season for barbecues, casual gatherings with friends and eating outdoors. Which means the question "What can I bring?" is getting a workout. In my mom's day, you could get by with a block of cream cheese smothered in a jar of barbecue sauce or salsa, with a box of Triscuits or, her favorite, Wheat Thins, to scoop it up.
Fressen and a cute round of Valentine or Adelle cheese from Ancient Heritage Dairy (right)? Or how about a hunk of paté from Chop with fennel crackers from La Panzanella? (Sorry, Mom…)
And soon, oh so very soon, we'll be swimming in tomatoes, both at the markets and here at home. Which brings me to a brilliant solution, if I do say so myself, that I came up with when my assigned dish at our block party was a side salad. Those diabolical devils at New Seasons had a huge display of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes luring shoppers with their siren song of summer, and a nearby aisle had tubs of cute little mozzarella balls marinating in olive oil and herbs.
Problem solved with not even 10 minutes of assembly, and the side benefit of wowing the neighbors. Hee hee!
Heirloom Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Oil-cured Olives
4 heirloom tomatoes, preferably contrasting colors
Small tub marinated mozzarella balls
12 oil-cured olives, pitted
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice tomatoes thickly and arrange on platter. Halve small mozzarella balls or, if using larger balls, slice and scatter over top of tomatoes. Chop olives roughly and scatter. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.