This salad has an intriguing array of flavors and textures. Roasting the peppers until the skin is charred provides a nice smokiness, contrasting with the sweetness of the mozzarella and the saltiness of the olives.

SERVES 4

1 large red bell pepper

1 large green bell pepper

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese

16 black olives (preferably kalamata)

2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Вј cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra virgin)

  1. Roast the bell peppers on a long-handled fork over a gas flame or on the burner of an electric stove until they are blackened. (Or you can put them on a cookie sheet and broil until charred.) Place them in a paper or plastic bag, tightly closed, for 10 minutes; the steam will make the skin peel off more easily. Under cold running water scrape off the skin with your fingers or a knife, then core the peppers and cut into strips about Вѕ inch wide.
  2. Slice the mozzarella into thin slices.
  3. On 4 serving plates or 1 large platter place the pepper strips, mozzarella slices, and olives in a nice arrangement. Sprinkle the oregano and ground pepper evenly over everything, then drizzle on the olive oil. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving in order to soften the oregano and let it absorb some of the olive oil.