The Easiest and Prettiest 5-Minute Salad You’ll Ever Make

I’m half Italian, which means half of my body is made entirely of mozzarella cheese and tomato. Which is exactly why this is one of my favorite salads to make. (It can be a starter salad, or a full-on meal, depending on how many layers you make!)

Tomato and MozzarellaI LOVE fresh mozzarella. The stringed kind is fucking great too, but there’s really nothing better than the fresh stuff. It’s delicate, soft, and pairs super well with tomatoes.

A tomato and mozzarella salad is really light but also incredibly tasty. (I actually had this one for dinner last night, because we’d had a heavy BBQ lunch.) Plus, it looks so pretty on a plate that people will think you’re some kind of chef unicorn and assume you put a lot of time and effort into this salad. It literally takes 5 minutes, maybe 3 if you’re an EXPERT.

Did I mention the ingredients you need to buy are just really tomato and fresh mozzarella? (Assuming you have all the other stuff.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad (serves 2):
  • 1 container of fresh mozzarella in water (look for one that has 2 sizable mozzarella balls, not the ones with a munch of minis!)
  • 2 red, ripe tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette
Directions:
  1. Wash tomatoes thoroughly, then cut them into smallish flat slices. (Each slice should look like a pizza pie crust, because pizza is great.)
  2. Remove the mozzarella balls from the water, and cut them into slices.
  3. Take out a plate and layer your salad with a mozzarella slice, then tomato, mozzarella slice, then tomato. (Each plate should get 1 mozzarella ball, and one fully sliced tomato.)
  4. Sprinkle your masterpiece with plenty of pepper.
  5. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over each plate.
  6. Drizzle a tablespoon of balsamic over each place.
  7. Finish with a sprinkling of salt over everything. (I use a lot of salt, but I really love salt.)
  8. Garnish with basil or fresh spinach if you’re feeling fancy.

Anyone who eats this at your table will think you’re the fanciest cook ever, I promise. Plus, it tastes so fresh and wonderful. Enjoy!

New Year, New Bucket List Updates

I decided to write a bucket list for myself a few years ago, because of this MTV show that inspired me, as silly as that might sound. (Did anyone else watch The Buried Life?)Shark Dive

And ever since making that list, I’ve been crossing things off of it, slowly but surely. It hasn’t been a quick process, but I’m still amazed by the number of things I’ve been able to accomplish ever since making this. Maybe it’s like that book I never read, The Secret, and this list somehow acts as my dream board.

Either way, I thought it would be a good idea to remind myself of what I still need to accomplish. And the great news is that one of these things is already in the works! (See #46)

1- Swim with sharks

2- Hike in Alaska

3- Host Saturday Night Live

4- Walk across the Great Wall of China

5- Perform standup

6-  Write a book

7- Write a play

8- Visit Cinque Terre

9- Learn Italian

10- Learn how to make sushi

11- Go to a restaurant and buy dinner for a random family (anonymously)

12- Start a foundation

13- Volunteer in India

14- See the Taj Mahal

15- Meet  Josh Groban

16- Feed a village in Africa

17- Sing a song with a live band in front of an audience

18- Party at the Playboy mansion

19- Write an article for The New Yorker

20- Be on NPR

21- Walk in a protest

22- Win an award for teaching

23- Go to Paris for a weekend. Tell no one.

24- Go to the Oscars

25- Be a guest on the Tonight Show

26- Get a PhD

27- Ring the bell at the NYSE

28- Help build a house

29- Go camping

30- Skinny dip

31- Sky dive

32- Travel through wine country

33- Go to the X Games

34- Go to the Olympics

35- Go to the Superbowl

36- Go to the World Series

37- Have a sketch on Funny or Die

38- Teach my mom how to swim (She refuses to learn. I am determined.)

39- Go apple picking

40- Have a sandwich named after me

41- Learn the thriller dance

42- Be on a float in a parade (I rode in a cop car during a parade as a prize for winning a slogan contest. Doesn’t count.)

43- Mardi Gras in New Orleans

44- Carnival in Brazil

45- Zip line in Costa Rica (I’m crossing this one out, as I recently zip lined in California!)

46- Go to Sundance — UPDATE! I will be attending Sundance as a reporter for BuzzFeed this year. So, this will be crossed off starting Jan. 16!

47- Build a successful website (this one!)

48- Go on a yoga retreat

49- Have/be on a billboard in Times Square

50- Interview a polygamist

51- Ride in a car with a storm chaser

52- Visit and bet on the Kentucky Derby

53- Get a tattoo

54- Complete the Sunday New York Time’s crossword puzzle

55- Learn how to play chess

56- Take a photography class

57- Visit Forks with Gabby and Kristen, go on Twilight tour

58- Bike across America

59- See a moose in the wild

60- Go to a speakeasy in NYC

61- Make dinner for friends once a month (STARTED)

62- Make Thanksgiving dinner

63- Be backstage at the Hollywood Bowl

New additions:

64- Have a play produced and put up

65- Publish a book

66- Have a non-fiction story published

Sensing a theme on those new goals? I’ll be upping my writing game in 2014!

Do you have a bucket list? If so, do any of them line up with mine? Because I could use a partner in crime for some of these!