This is a very simple dish which can be made quickly and goes well with wine or whatever you happened to be drinking. Commercially grown tomatoes in the U.S. is not great especially when they are out of the season. The best tomatoes are definitely those that are homegrown either in your backyard or your friend’s backyard during hot summer days. We used to grow tomatoes in our backyard but the trees have gotten taller every year and our backyard has been getting progressively shadier and shadier. We gave up growing tomatoes for some time. Hydroponically grown tomatoes are usually tasteless and not worth buying. Recently, Campari tomatoes became available in our grocery stores. This variety is a bit larger than cherry tomatoes and tastes much better than any other out-of-the-season tomatoes available in the grocery store. I am not sure Campari tomatoes are similar to so-called fruit tomatoes “フルーツトマト” in Japan. In any case, decent tomatoes are a “must” for this dish. I used smoked fresh mozzarella cheese here but fresh plain mozzarella is also fine.
This is a variation of a more common layered salad of tomatoes, basil, and Mozzarella cheese, “Insalata Caprese”. In this version, I finely chop onion or shallot and mix in a good quality olive oil, salt, black pepper and dash of balsamic vinegar and dress cubes of mozzarella cheese and quarters of tomatoes (skin removed, either by peeling the skin with a knife as I did here or blanching very briefly) and garnish with chiffonade of fresh basil. Key to this dish is good quality ingredients including the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.