A great appetizer for your next get together
2 red bell peppers (about 1/2 pound)
1 pound smoked mozzarella at room temperature
1/2 cup finely minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic chopped to a paste
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups of lightly dressed, frilly salad greens
1. Place the bell peppers over the burners of a gas range (if you don't have a gas range, you can place them under a broiler, or over an outdoor grill). Cook, turning with tongs, until the peppers are blackened. Place them in a paper bag, and let them rest for 20 minutes. Remove from bag, and peel off the blackened skin (do not run the peppers under water). Remove the stem, seeds, and ribs. Cut into little cubes.
2. Cut the mozzarella into small dice, and mix with the red pepper. Add the parsley, the oil, and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide the salad greens among 4 plates, and top with the smoked mozzarella mixture. Serve immediately.
We'll never forget watching mozzarella being smoked in the parking lot of a mozzarella factory near naples; the result, when tasted on the spot, was absolutely delicious. Smoke your own, if you can -- or buy a freshly smoked one from an Italian deli that smokes its own. Serves 4 as a first course