This Mixed Italian Salad celebrates the beauty of pure flavors and fresh produce. As I am planning a trip to Italy soon, I have become slightly obsessed with cooking Italian food. My cabinets are stocked with items like polenta, risotto rice, tomato passata, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, buffalo mozzarella and lots of fresh vegetables that remind me of Italy. When summer comes around, it just seems natural to cook like the Italians do. Italian cooking celebrates pure flavors and fresh local produce. This Mixed Italian Salad is crunchy, full of character and filled with strong yet simple flavors.
The arugula, chicory, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion and radishes all have strong, pronounced flavors. The sweet, ripe tomatoes and soft, creamy mozzarella offer a nice soft contrast to these full-bodied flavors. To create your own Mixed Italian Salad, whatever fresh ingredients you have at home and mix them together to create your own local, seasonal salad. You cannot go wrong if you use the freshest ingredients possible and a wide variety of them.
I made this Mixed Italian Salad for lunch but it makes a pretty awesome pasta salad too. As I had quite some salad leftover after lunch and I really hate wasting beautiful good food, I decided to turn my leftovers into a quick and easy dinner. I quickly cooked some spelt fusilli and tossed it through the salad and topped it with some extra buffalo mozzarella. Voila, an absolutely delicious evening meal!
- 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 small Roma tomatoes, quartered
- 15 radishes, topped and quartered
- 2 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes, cut in thin strips
- 2 cups of arugula
- 1 chicory, leaves
- 125gr buffalo mozzarella, shredded in pieces (optional)
- a big handful of fresh basil leaves
- 6 tbsp extra virgin oil
- 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp of capers, if using big capers, chop finely
- freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
To make the pasta salad, cook some spelt or gluten-free fusilli. Allow it to cool and mix it through the salad.