When winter breaks into spring and the sun starts to fly high again, it’s time to start to switch your diet from the lamb hotpot and thick suet dumplings that you might have favoured in the colder months to some beautiful Mediterranean fare. Our mozzarella and sun dried tomato pesto dressing salad recipe should help you start things out with a friendly nudge to the bread maker with a zingy dressing, good Italian salad leaves and the brilliant Caprese combination of mozzarella cheese, tomato and a little balsamic vinegar.
Serves 2 with around 2.5 of your 5-a-day veg count
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 2 small (ish) carrots
- 2 large handfuls of mixed Mediterranean salad leaves
- 2 small handfuls of rocket leaves
- 1 good size mozzarella ball
Sun dried tomato pesto salad dressing:
- A little salt and pepper, depending on your taste
- 2 teaspoons of sun dried tomato pesto
- 4 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin ideally)
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- A good sprinking of mixed dried herbs
- Start by placing 1 handful of the Mediterranean salad leaves on each of your plates or salad bowls and cover with the rocket leaves to start to build up the layers of taste and texture.
- Next, peel and chop the carrots into relatively small chunks and sprinkle over your salad leaves with a good distribution to add a little colour into the mix.
- Do the same for the cherry tomatoes, but you might want to place these a little more strategically if you’re looking to impress with the look of your dish as much as with the taste. We usually quarter our cherry tomatoes for a salad like this, so that you can get a good combination of all the different tastes with every mouthful.
- Next up is the mozzarella, which you should slice in half and then cut into half-inch/1 centremetre cubes. Again, just place these over the top of the salad with an even distribution until you’re happy with your masterpiece.
- The dressing is incredibly simple. Put the sun dried tomato pesto, salt & pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mixed dried herbs in either you dressing jar or a little jug. If you’ve got a jar, shake it for all you’re worth and artfully drizzle over your salad Jackson Pollack style. If you’ve only got a jug, a good whip up with a fork should get you the same silky dressing consistency and then again just drip drop it over your mozzarella salad.
- Serve up and enjoy, especially if you’ve got the added benefit of an al fresco table and chairs set in your garden, pateo, balcony or stoop.
- If you’re making this for more people than the ingredient list is set out for, just multiply everything by an addition 0.5 per person. If you don’t have an even number and you don’t want to be left with half a ball of mozzarella you can look for the mini-mozzarella balls as an alternative option.