Inspired by the Italian salad called panzanella, this combines crisp, garlic-flavoured bread cubes with sweet, juicy tomatoes and crunchy salad vegetables. Gruyèe and Parmesan cheeses add wonderful flavour as well as vital minerals. Try it for lunch or supper, with more bread to boost the starchy carbohydrate.
Use 1 head of Chinese leaves, about 400–450 g (14–16 oz), and 200 g (7 oz) iceberg lettuce instead of cos or romaine lettuce. Shred and mix the Chinese leaves and iceberg. * Try 170 g (6 oz) feta cheese, crumbled, instead of Gruyèe and Parmesan and add a few black olives, stoned and chopped. Omit the dressing and instead serve lemon wedges and black pepper to sprinkle over the salad. * Grilled haloumi cheese is excellent with a salad such as this. Cut the cheese into fairly thick slices and place them on a flameproof dish. Cook under a hot grill until golden on both sides, turning once. Lay the cheese on individual portions of the prepared salad (made without Gruyèe and Parmesan) and serve straightaway.
The traditional combination of cheese and tomato offers a delicious source of protein, vitamins and minerals. * In addition to calcium, Gruyère cheese is a good source of zinc, a mineral essential for the process of wound healing. * Fennel is thought to aid digestion and relieve wind. It also provides phytoestrogen and it is a good source of potassium.
C, calcium * A, B12, E, folate, niacin * B1, B2, B6, copper, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc