Whether served as a salad with grilled meats or sidled-up to fried corn and field peas on a vegetable plate, the sharp-sweet taste of ice-cold cucumbers and red onion, dripping with Sugar-and-Vinegar Dressing, is powerful enough to make you shiver. For a light and refreshing supper, drizzle that same dressing over a handful of crisp, leafy salad greens layered with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and vine-ripened tomatoes.
Process 1/3 cup raspberry or red wine vinegar,1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. With blender or processor running, add 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a slow, steady stream; process until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil. Makes about 3/4 cup.
Fresh mozzarella is a soft white cheese with a mild flavor that's perfect for summer salads and sandwiches. It's naturally low in sodium and has a limited shelf life, so use within several days after opening. Once made from the milk of water buffalo rather than cows and quite expensive, fresh mozzarella is now more reasonable (about $3.29 for an 8-ounce package). For more information visit www.belgioioso.com.