Mozzarella Grilled Pepper Salad.

Last night, man, I was pooped. I had been working and cleaning and doing laundry all day. Ick. But after our vacation, I was itchin’ to get in the kitchen. (Hey, that rhymed. Nicee.) Anyways, I decided I deserved something delicious and homemade. But it had to be:

1. Easy

2. Cold (I have this weird thing where I base my meal decisions on whether I want hot or cold food. Yeah… anyways.)

3. …and cheeeeesy. What can I say? I had a hankerin’.

As I always do when I’m looking for something simple and delicious to make, I opened up my most recent edition of Rachael Ray, and found this:

  

Cha-ching.

It met all the requirements…

1. Easyyy peasy. This is all it takes.

2. Cold. Nom nom nom on some freshhnesss. Yes.

3. Cheeesyy. I love me some fresh mozzarella any day. Coulda ate the whole log if I tried.

So if you’re having one of those days, and you want some cheese and garlic bread at its freshest and finest, make this.

Mozzarella Grilled Pepper Salad:

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 bell peppers (mixed colors to make it perty.)
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 large baguette, sliced crosswise into 3/4 inch- thick slices
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1/3 cup torn basil leaves (I used cilantro cause that’s all I had. But basil and mozzarella are always a great team.)
Directions:
1. In a small bowl combine the garlic and EVOO. Let it sit while you prep and grill the bell peppers.
2. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Cut the bell peppers into flat panels and throw away the stems, cores, and seeds. Lightly oil the grill grate and grill the pepper pieces, covered and turning occasionally, until just softened, about 10 minutes. When they’re cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch squares and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, onion, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
3. Brush the bread slices on both sides with the garlic oil. Grill, turning once, until well marked and toasted, 2-4 minutes. Cut into large cubes.
4. Stir the remaining garlic oil into the salad. Add the croutons, mozzarella and basil; toss. (I added some spinach too just for kicks.)
Finally, bask in the easy, cheesy, chilled goodness that is before you. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
Note: this recipe is even better when you have fun making it. I sure did:

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