© David Loftus
grilled marinated mozzarella with crunchy bread, smoked bacon and a black olive and lemon dressing
Remove the crusts from the ciabatta and tear up into rough 1-inch pieces. Throw into a bowl with the bacon and lemon zest. Divide each mozzarella into 8 similar-sized pieces and add to the bowl. Keeping the leaf tips on the rosemary sticks, remove the lower leaves (see page 248) and then smash these up with a mortar and pestle with the garlic. Stir in 8 tablespoons of olive oil, then pour this mixture over the bread, cheese and bacon. Marinate for anything from 15 minutes to an hour.
Thread your mozzarella and bread onto your rosemary sticks, weaving the bacon in and around. Line up the kebabs on a wire rack and place under the grill on a very high heat until the bread and bacon are golden and crisp and the mozzarella is nice and gooey. While this is grilling, make sure you keep an eye on it, as it can turn into a charred kebab very quickly. To make the dressing, chop up the olives and mix with the chilli, 5 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the same amount of olive oil. Season to taste.
To serve the kebabs, dress the herbs with half of the olive dressing right at the last minute so the leaves stay nice and fresh, then drizzle the other half of the dressing over the kebabs.
Try this: Do exactly the same as above but swap the mozzarella for cubes of fresh white fish such as haddock, cod or monkfish.
• 1 loaf of ciabatta
• 8 slices of thinly sliced bacon or pancetta
• zest of 2 lemons
• 4 large buffalo mozzarella cheeses
• 8 sticks of fresh rosemary
• 1 clove of garlic
• extra virgin olive oil
• 3 handfuls of mixed fresh herbs (chives, chervil, mint, basil, parsley)
for the dressing
• 1 good handful of nice black olives, pitted
• 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
• 5 tablespoons lemon juice
• 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper