Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Insalata Contadina

     A Mediterranean Style Farm Salad!
     Today's salad recipe features healthy Italian ingredients and a vinaigrette that has a bold flavor.  This is a casual tossed salad, so the flavor counts more than the presentation.  In fact, the same can be said about nearly all farm style salads, because country folk enjoy making bold tasting tossed salads that guests will rave about for years to come.
     It is the salad dressing that counts, when making a country style salad anywhere in the world.  If the dressing does not taste good, then the chances are that nobody in the family will make a big effort to eat the leafy greens and raw vegetables.  If the dressing tastes great, then a family will devour the healthy salad faster than a herd of cattle!        

     Tomato Vinaigrette:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.  (About 1/3 cup)
     San Marzano Tomatoes have the richest red tomato flavor of them all!
     Step 1:  Place1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar in a mixing bowl.
     Add 3 tablespoons of imported Italian canned Crushed San Marzano Tomato.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Set the mixture aside for 5 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Step 2:  Slowly add 3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil while stirring to make a loose vinaigrette.
     Chill the dressing till it is needed.
     Stir before serving.

     Toasted Pine Nuts:
     This recipe yields 1 garnish portion.
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of pine nuts.
     Occasionally toss the pine nuts in the pan, till a few golden highlights appear.
     Step 2:  Place the toasted pine nuts in a bowl.
     Lightly season with sea salt.
     Set the toasted pine nuts aside.

     Insalata Contadina:
     This recipe yields 1 large salad entrée.
     Insalata Contadina translates to "Farmer Salad or Peasant Salad."  
     Step 1:  Place 3 cups of chopped romaine lettuce in a mixing bowl.
     Step 2:  Add 1/4 cup of thin sliced onion.
     Add 1/4 cup of thin sliced zucchini.
     Add 10 whole fresh Italian Parsley leaves.
     Step 3:  Add 1/4 cup of rinsed cooked cannellini beans or rinsed canned cannellini beans.
     Add 1/4 cup of roasted red bell pepper strips.
     Step 4:  Add 1/4 cup of the Tomato Vinaigrette.
     Toss the ingredients together. 
     Step 5:  Mound the Contadina Salad mixture on a plate.
     Spoon the remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Tomato Vinaigrette over the salad.
     Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts over the salad.
     Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely grated hard boiled egg over the salad.

     The bold Tomato Vinaigrette flavor is present with every bite!

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