Here is a colourful, Mediterranean-style dish that is very easy to make. The vegetables can be prepared in advance if you like, and left to soak up the flavours in the dressing, then mixed with the mozzarella and piled onto freshly toasted, garlicky ciabatta bread. A perfect summer lunch.
Mozzarella cheese is lower in fat than many other varieties of cheeses and so contains fewer calories. * Fennel is believed to help digestion, particularly by relieving colic, stomach cramps and wind. * Peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and of beta-carotene. However, the beta-carotene content varies according to the colour of the pepper, red peppers having the most and green peppers the least.
For a rich, nutty flavour, replace the olive oil with hazelnut or walnut oil. * To make mozzarella and vegetable pitta pockets, cut 4 pitta breads across in half and warm under the grill. Open the pockets and spoon in the mozzarella and grilled vegetables. * Make the classic Italian mozzarella, avocado and tomato salad and serve on toasted ciabatta. Peel a large avocado and cut across into slices. Slice 2 large, ripe tomatoes and 150 g (5½ oz) mozzarella. Mix together 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, and seasoning to taste in a bowl. Add the avocado, tomatoes and mozzarella, together with a handful of torn fresh basil leaves, and mix gently with the dressing. Toast the ciabatta and rub with garlic as in the main recipe, then top with the salad and serve.
A, C * B12, calcium, selenium * B1, B6, E, folate, niacin, copper, iron, potassium, zinc