A thoughtful cook will devise cool, colorful dishes that will lighten the spirit. What we want is fly-away light, butterfly light — meals that go down smooth and sweet, and won’t weigh you down afterward. I have recipes for those perfect summer meals – the kind that make you want to kick off your shoes and go play in the sand. Ingredients for these delectable dishes are probably in your pantry already so get cooking.

Prep Time: 12 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • ¼ pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 (½-inch-thick) slices
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cut into a total of 8 thick slices
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon crumbled, dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Additional fresh basil, for garnish (optional)


1. Place 2 mozzarella slices on each of 4 individual plates or arrange on a serving platter.
2. Place 1 basil leaf on each mozzarella slice.
3. Top each with a tomato slice. Set aside.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano and salt. Drizzle over tomatoes and mozzarella.
5. Serve at room temperature, garnished with additional basil leaves, if desired.


If you have extra basil, place it in a large glass or pitcher of cold water in the fridge. It will last 4 to 6 days if you remove wilted leaves and change the water occasionally. This tip also works with other fresh herbs.