This salad really brings back memories of so many things. The freedom of moving into my own flat, going to the Willis St market every Sunday afternoon, getting fresh vegetables and making salads on the very afternoon itself, strawberry salsas, slicing radishes with my Henckels slicing knife, and all the other memories associated with that old flat. . .running, relationships, chanting, hours at the beach. . .
And then I was also so inspired by the mozarella+fresh basil leaf combination I had at Joanne's house, that I had to get a fresh plant and fashion it myself. Even though it wasn't the first time I've had fresh basil, it left a distinct, indelible impression that the experience of fresh basil is really nowhere near the dried.
It was also at the old flat that I rediscovered mangos in a new way (eating them in a 100% concentrated way, slicing and eating them with my paring knife, feet up), beautiful salad dressing combinations, and eating watercress fresh (rather than in a Chinese style soup).