Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Don't Insult Your Insalata

The next time you decide to make a salad, let go of the tasteless iceberg lettuce. In fact, drop the lettuce altogether.

Create a leafless salad by combining chopped tomatoes and cucumbers.

Tomato Tip: Never put your tomatoes in the fridge. They will become mealy and gross.

Cucumber Tip: If the outside of your cucumbers are too rough, shave off the gnarly bits using a lemon zester or vegetable peeler, like so:

Dress your salad with olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and oregano. This salad is a staple in Europe.

Also try these variations:
- add some feta cheese
- add some bocconcini cheese
- use balsamic vinegar
- use fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar
- add some fresh chives/onions
- use parsley instead of oregano...

The possibilities are endless.

For another alternative when making salads, try using radicchio.

That's right! Try it this time, instead of picking it out of your spring mix!

Radicchio is a red-leaf, bitter lettuce with an almost spicy taste. Many varieties are grown in northern Italy.

To create a palatable flavour, shred the lettuce finely (almost like coleslaw).

Dress with sea salt, white balsamic vinegar and walnut oil. The combination of the walnut oil with the white balsamic will leave your taste buds tingling.

Walnut oil is a rather high-priced oil that can be found in some specialty supermarkets, organic aisles and health food stores. The health benefits of this oil are incredible, as it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Another way to enjoy radicchio is by cooking it. (You read it correctly. It was not a typo.) Radicchio is excellent grilled, broiled or pan-fried. Don't knock it 'till you've tried it!


  1. that salad looks soo yummy, i going to make it now. have spent the past three days making pickled green tomatoes the way mom used to make them. the tomatoes are now under "weights" and hopefully i will jar them tomorrow


  2. Mmmmmm. Pickled green tomatoes are my favourite! I hope I can try some of yours [wink wink]. It's actually quite funny you mentioned it, because I am writing an article about giardiniera that I will be publishing tomorrow!

  3. Thats great; can't wait. of course you can try them. lets get thanksgiving out of the way, dad moved and then you guys have to come over for dinner, lunch, brunch, whatever. O.K.

    looking forward to your next post.