• Yield: Serves 6 as an appetizer, 4 as a main course

One of the best salads in the book, this shows just how perfumed basil is. You can omit the mozzarella if you are watching your fat intake, or if you're not, use burrata, if you can get it, instead of mozzarella (it's even better).

This is a simple dish, so you do need to buy good-quality ingredients.

  • 3 nectarines

  • 10 oz tomatoes of mixed sizes 
and colors 

  • 8 oz buffalo mozzarella, drained 
of whey

  • leaves from 1 large bunch of basil

  • salt and black pepper

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Halve and pit the nectarines and cut each half into four equal wedges. Halve smaller plum tomatoes or quarter larger ones, and slice the large tomato. Tear the mozzarella coarsely into pieces.

Get a wide, shallow bowl and layer the salad components, seasoning and sprinkling with white balsamic and extra virgin oil as you work. Serve immediately.

From A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley 2014, photo Laura Edwards.

Diana Henry is the Telegraph's food writer. She is the author of six books, including Plenty, which was selected as one of the top cookbooks of the year by The Washington Post.