i love salad, be it of leafy greens, veggies, pasta or fruit. Lately i've been on this antipasto salad kick - romaine or iceberg lettuce, salami, ham, provolone, parmesan and pickled vegetables (carrots, caulifower, celery...), tossed with my basic vinaigrette. One of the most refreshing salads i know of is my great grandmother's very basic recipe. It's iceberg lettuce, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt. That's it. So very simple, yet delicious with a loaf of crusty Italian bread and some chicken cutlets. My mom gets a bite of salad and a bite of chicken on the same fork, and i now follow suit. Sometimes the simplest of foods can be the most delicious.
i thought i'd share two recipes today. The first is not my family's; it comes from a place called Mazza's Restaurant and Lounge in Mount Vernon, OH. My aunt worked there years ago and shared the recipe with us. We've been hooked ever since. The second is prefered mostly by my mom and i. If i'm remembering correctly, my Italian-born great grandfather made this salad, or possibly one of my great uncles. Regardless, it's been passed down.
Serves 2, 3...depends on how hungry you are and what else you're having
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, ripped or chopped into bite-size pieces
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (more or less to taste, though too much overpowers)
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
feta, blue or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled, to taste (we prefer feta, i think original recipe uses one of the latter two)
Mince the garlic and place into the olive oil. How much olive oil? i dunno'. i eyeball it. Maybe 1/3 cup? Maybe a little more? Let the garlic and oil sit for 20-30 minutes. Place the lettuce in a big bowl and add the cheese. Pour the oil and garlic over the lettuce and drizzle with red wine vinegar. No, i don't know how much. i just taste and add as necessary (i don't think i should ever write a cookbook...). Sprinkle with salt to taste. Make sure to have some crusty bread on hand to sop up the dressing. Warning: do not plan on much kissing action after eating this, unless both parties partake.
Italian Orange Salad
Serves 1 (because that's the only way i ever make it)
1-2 oranges, separated into segments
1 clove garlic, minced
extra virgin olive oil
Place the orange segments and garlic in a bowl. Sprinkle with oregano and salt and then drizzle with olive oil. Not much, maybe just a couple tablespoons. Toss and enjoy. This salad is one of those things that sounds like an odd pairing, but for some reason just works.