Today’s post was supposed to be full of images of a gloriously sunny early Spring day at the Princess Diana playground in Kensington Gardens – cutesy photographs of the Minx as she giggled in her swing, or of a tiny little Minx toddling along next to her very tall father. Except I forgot to put the CF card back in the camera.
So here instead is a photograph of my lunch. One of the best things about La Dolce Vita was the charming Neapolitan fruttivendolo (greengrocer) whose stand was laden with all manner of new season fruit and veg from Naples and Sicily. I normally try to buy seasonal produce rather than tasteless green beans which have been flown half-way round the world from Kenya or Peru, so it was wonderful to buy a huge bag of ripely red cherry tomatoes, a bundle of perky asparagus and a succulent, creamy mozzarella di bufala, after a winter of Savoy cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli (much as I love them).
Today we made the first insalata tricolore* of the year. I cannot describe how sweet and fragrant those tomatoes were – a million times more delicious than the wildly expensive imported red bullets which masquerade as tomatoes in the UK.
*Slice up the tastiest tomatoes you can get your hands on (in the UK that usually means halved cherry tomatoes, in Naples they use huge tomatoes grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius which have the best flavour in the whole world.) Add slices of soft, ripe avocado – if you haven’t got a decent avocado then don’t bother and call it insalata caprese instead. Top with buffalo mozzarella or mozzarella fior di latte (just tear it up with your fingers) and scatter on some torn up basil leaves. Season with salt and drizzle with a good quality olive oil. I usually use O&Co’s gorgeous basil oil to add more flavour to the tomatoes available in the UK, but all these tomatoes needed was a peppery extra virgin.