8 thick slices of whole wheat bread or soda bread (about 2 oz. each in weight)
1 garlic clove, peeled
10 oz. low fat mozzarella
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
10 oz. artichoke hearts in oil, drained and quartered
2 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
12 black olives (Kalamata)
4 cups mixed salad leaves
1. Place bread onto a lightly greased sheet pan, and toast on both sides under a hot broiler until golden brown. Cut garlic in half and rub over the toasted bread. Cut the mozzarella into eight even-sized pieces and place on each slice of bread. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.
2. Place bread under broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes or until mozzarella starts to melt and turn brown.
3. Meanwhile, pour remaining olive oil in a bowl with balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper and whisk together. Add the artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and olives, giving them a good stir in the dressing.
4. Place two slices toasted bread on each plate. Toss salad leaves with prepared dressing and serve over mozzarella toast.
Black olives can help lower blood pressure, which can reduce your risk of heart disease, according to Michael T. Murray, author of “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.” Murray notes that black olives might also be useful in the prevention and treatment of asthma, arthritis and cancer. The oils they contain can help combat inflammation, a condition that contributes to these and other chronic health conditions. In addition, a 2006 study published in the “Journal of Nutrition” reported that lives might be particularly beneficial for inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells.
Garlic health benefits have long been claimed and the “stinking rose” treatment has been used extensively in herbal medicine through the centuries. Among the most interesting potential applications are suggestions that garlic might be able to assist some people in the management of blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Modern science has shown that garlic is a powerful natural antibiotics. The bacteria in the body do not appear to evolve resistance to garlic as they do to many modern pharmaceutical antibiotics.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies, lycopene, especially in cooked tomatoes, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer. Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays.
Mark Allison, director of Culinary Nutrition for the Dole Nutrition Institute