Marinated fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil salad in pitas


Make these sandwiches now when tomatoes are at their juicy best and fresh basil is plentiful.


2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Salt to taste


1 large tomato, peeled and cut into

½-inch cubes

½ cup fresh mozzarella cheese in

½-inch cubes (about 3 ounces)

Two 7-inch pita bread rounds, each cut to form 2 half-rounds

4 leaves red-leaf lettuce

To make the marinade, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

To make the filling, combine the tomato and cheese cubes in a shallow dish. Drizzle with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Split the pita halves open and line each with a lettuce leaf.

Use a slotted spoon to strain the tomato and mozzarella mixture as you add it to the pita halves.

Advance Preparation

The tomato and cheese will keep in the marinade for up to 2 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. Assemble the sandwiches just before serving.

Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.