My Mamma’s Italian Salad!
Cooking with my cousin Lisa Lombardi is FUN so I did it again. We are cousins on our mothers side, sisters Margie the eldest and my mom, Antoinette (called Annette on her side of the family and Toni the rest of the time) the middle of 5 girls. So we like to think we are sisters once removed! Ha!
Lisa never had this salad before. It’s my mother’s concotion. When most people think of a salad, they picture some leafy mix that is fortified with various vegetables or fruit, maybe cheese or protein. This salad is not that. It’s one my mother used to make every so often, which we always thought of as a more “fun” salad. The textures, the crunch, the colors, the flavors. Robust and substantial, it made us very happy.
I’m not exactly sure how she came up with it – I asked but she doesn’t recall – but it is good. It is really fabulous with a tray of cheeses and other Italian antipasto delicacies like soppressata (dry Italian salami) and prosciutto. If I remember correctly, she’d serve it with chicken or veal cutlets and broccoli.
No, I’m not talking about what she served us as young adults over for dinner. This is what she served to us as children… back in the day when children were not stuck on a minimal diet of grilled cheese or mac & cheese. Don’t get me wrong, both are DELIGHTFUL but the sandwich would be a lunch, not dinner option. We only had mac & cheese as a side to a balanced dinner. In fact, no one I knew when I was a kid had such a particular palate.
This wasn’t to punish us. We actually LOVED all sorts of food. Food was fun. Veggies were not shunned. We never knew what my mom was making for dinner so it was always a surprise to see what she’d make.
Now back to the salad. As you will see, it’s so easy to toss together. The crunch of the celery balanced beautifully with the smoky roasted pepper, the marinated artichokes…. and the pop of black olive!! All brought together with the tart red wine vinegar and your favorite extra virgin olive oil. It’s all so simple yet so incredibly delish.
- • 1 - 6 oz can black olives, pitted
- • 1 - 12 oz jar roasted red peppers
- • 3 stalks celery, chopped
- • 1 - 12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
- • salt & pepper to taste
- • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Combine all ingredients.
- Mix well.
- If you want a bit more bite, add some minced raw garlic. That's how my mom likes it best but be warned... it may be really healthy and add good flavor but you'll have it with you for awhile afterwards! Ha!