The days are getting longer and the breeze outside is fresh and crisp. The perfect excuse to enjoy nature before the chocking Florida summer heat rolls in. About a week ago I found a beautiful wetland preserve right in the middle of town. Mead Gardens is a park that has dedicated its grounds to preserve a piece of nature for all of us city dwellers to enjoy. The trees are abundant and the lush gardens foster a great variety of colorful butterflies that flutter for our eyes to enjoy! I had to share this with my friends! So we planned a little lunch, got in the car, and headed out to our little picnic.
I packed a Tomato & Mozzarella salad. To share your fresh mozzarella and tomatoes with friends, simply cut up mozzarella balls into 1/2 in cubes, quarter some grape tomatoes, quarter some large queen green olives (or any other variety you like), and pick some basil leaves. I grow my little basil out on the porch, it’s purple basil but any kind will do. I then make a simple vinaigrette made by mixing grated garlic, dijon mustard, and white balsamic in a mixing bowl and slowly adding olive oil until it reaches creamy consistency. Toss all ingredients together and enjoy under a tree, with friends and a nice conversation.
As we walked the trails, we noticed how serene everything seemed. We were suspended in a time and place where all that mattered was the chirp of the birds and the breeze against our faces. The rest of the world was forgotten if only for a brief moment. A beautiful way to relax indeed. I am grateful for nature, good food, and great friends!