Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Insalata di Balsamic Artichoke, Olive and Tomato

     An Italian Style Lightly Marinated Salad!
     Today's Italian style Balsamic Vinegar marinated salad is a nice antipasti.  Modena Italy is the home of cave aged Balsamic Vinegar.  The quality of the Balsamic Vinegar is easily noticed in a simple salad, so it is best to select a good one from Modena.
     The secret to making a Mediterranean style marinated salad is to only marinate the ingredients for a short time.  This way the vegetables do not turn limp and the flavors remain bright.  Another good tip is to only add enough Balsamic Vinegar to lightly coat the ingredients with flavor.  Adding too much Balsamic Vinegar will result in an overbearing flavor.
     Balsamic Vinaigrette:
     This recipe yields about 1/3 cup.  (2 portions)  
     The vinaigrette should be loose and not fully emulsified for this recipe.
     Step 1:  Place 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon on minced fresh basil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Step 2:  Slowly add 1/4 cup of olive oil while gently whisking to create a loose vinaigrette.
     Step 3:  Place the Balsamic Vinaigrette in a container.
     Chill till the dressing is needed.
     Stir before serving.

     Insalata di Balsamic Artichoke, Olive and Tomato:
     This recipe yields 1 salad entrée.
     Poached fresh artichoke hearts or good quality canned artichoke hearts can be used for this recipe.
     Step 1:  Place 1/6 cup of julienne sliced onion in a mixing bowl.
     Add 2 large artichoke hearts that are cut into quarters.
     Add 5 large pitted black olives that are cut in half.
     Add 1 large ripe Plum Tomato that is cut into wedges.
     Step 2:  Add just enough of the Balsamic Vinaigrette to coat the ingredients with flavor.  (About 2 to 3 tablespoons.)
     Gently toss the ingredients together.
     Step 3:  Place the marinated salad mixture in a container.
     Chill for 5 minutes in a refrigerator.
     *Do not marinate this salad for too much time, or the tomatoes will become mushy!
     Step 4:  Place a bed of small Boston Lettuce Leaves on the center of a plate.  (About 2 cups.)
     Mound the artichoke and tomato salad on the bed of lettuce.
     No garnish is necessary!

     Viola!  A nice light summer antipasti salad!

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