Cherry tomato salad with mozzarella and lemon.

It’s rather a conundrum for a food blogger: In summer, my cooking becomes simple to the point that recipes aren’t required. Sometimes, what I have to share with you here is more inspiration than it is instruction.

Which is the case for this ‘recipe’ for our favorite tomato salad. Actually, it’s one of our favorites (and I’ll be posting others as the summer progresses). The addition of lemon zest and juice to the caprese-style combination of fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil really elevates the flavor of this essential summer salad. (Please, for the love of Pete, don’t make this in February.)

cherry tomato salad with mozzarella and lemon

(serves 4)

2 pints vine-ripened cherry tomatoes (red, yellow or mixed)
1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. really good olive oil, or lemon-infused olive oil if you have it
slivered fresh basil
coarse-cracked pepper

Toss everything but the basil gently together in a serving bowl about 30 minutes before you plan to serve the salad. Add the fresh basil at the last minute so that it doesn't discolor, and season with coarse-cracked pepper.