Avocado and Tomato Summer Salad

 I love everything associated with summer. Long days. The sun staying out until 8pm. Swimming. Grilling. Watermelon. Popsicles. Tank tops. My newfound summer love is fresh, flavorful tomatoes. Ever since learning that conventional tomatoes are picked when they are green and ripened with ethylene gas, I make it a point to buy local, organic tomatoes. Boy can you taste the difference! A summer tomato that was grown using only sunshine and water is crunchy, refreshing, and full of flavor. Despite the hot heat, we have continued to frequent the farmer's market. Now that summer is upon us, heirloom tomatoes are in season! I only recently discovered heirloom tomatoes. I love them! We are all familiar with regular, red tomatoes, but yellow heirlooms are something different and intriguing. The taste is similar to red, but I just love the idea of a yellow tomato!

This past weekend I found myself buying way more tomatoes than I bargained for. The best way I could think to use them was to make a cold, refreshing summer salad. I am a huge fan of caprese salads. Mozzarella, tomato, basil. Although this classic salad is a winner, I wanted to spice things up a little. By adding avocado and lemon juice, this traditional tomato salad has a little more pizzaz!

Avocado and Tomato Summer Salad
serves 4-6

1 pint red cherry tomatoes (organic)
4 yellow, heirloom tomatoes, or 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes (organic)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1 avocado chopped
1/2 cup basil (organic) finely chopped
1/4 olive oil
1 1/4 cups fresh  mini mozzarella balls

Place mozzarella balls on a dish towel to allow all liquid to drain. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Cut yellow heirloom tomatoes into small chunks. Mix tomatoes together in large bowl. Add avocado chunks, basil, lemon, olive oil, salt. Cut mozzarella balls in half and add to salad. Mix well. Refrigerate before serving. Can be served as a side dish or a light lunch.

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