There is a wonderful Mediterranean salad, which brings together tomatoes, mozzarella, and either fresh basil or pesto. The result is an incredibly fresh and flavorful dish.
Sandwiches and paninis that combine these ingredients are common in boulangeries here, and I often make variations of that theme.
This is the sandwich that Shri feels he could eat every day for lunch. Noor loves it too, and I make a much smaller version of it for her sometimes.
Indira doesn’t like the taste of mozzarella – unless it comes to her all melted on top of a pizza or inside the Aubergine Parmigianna in which case she loves it – so she likes me to skip that bit when I make this sandwich for her, though she loves avocado in it. But I think the combination of mozzarella and pesto is what makes it so special for the rest of us.
Tomato,Mozzarella, and Pesto Sandwich
Half of a multi-grain baguette , or olive bread
1/2 of a medium sized tomato, cut in to thin slices
1/4 or 1/8 of an avocado (optional), thinly sliced
50 gms of mozzarella(drained weight), cut in to thin slices
some salad leaves
2 tsp of pesto
Slit the baguette along the length on one side, without cutting through the other side. Sprinkle a tiny amount of olive oil on both surfaces.
Layer the leaves over the lower half, then follow that with the tomato slices, the cheese slices and the avocado slices. Spread the pesto next, then close the sandwich and wrap tightly in cling film.
Ideally, make this an hour before eating, and all the flavors will come together beautifully.
One could season the filling with some salt, but I tend to think that there are so many lovely flavors here, one would surely not miss the salt; so I skip it.
This sandwich is especially nice if made with olive bread.