Today’s recipe is Country Salad (Insalata Paesana). This delicious and filling salad is a mix of fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and cheese. To make the most of this dish, ensure that all of your ingredients are fresh and that you use a top-quality cheese. Healthy and joyous eating!
Country Salad (Insalata Paesana) / Recipe courtesy Lidia Bastianich
1 pound cauliflower
¾ pound red potatoes
1 large apple, crisp
8 small radishes
1 cup red onion, 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces Italian Asiago cheese, rind removed, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
½ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
Fill a pot or saucepan with 3 quarts water, and heat it to a boil. Tear off any tough leaves at the base of the cauliflower (reserve any small, tender leaves) and cut out the core. Break or cut the large branches into small florets, drop them (and any tender leaves) into the boiling water, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Lift from the water, and drain well in a colander. When cool, put the florets in the large bowl.
As soon as the cauliflower is out of the pot, return the water to a boil and drop in the potatoes. Cook them at a gentle boil just until a knife blade pierces the center easily-don't let them get mushy. Drain and briefly cool the potatoes; peel them while still warm, cut into 1/4-inch dice, and put them in the serving bowl with the cauliflower.
Peel and core the apples, cut into 1/4-inch dice, and add to the salad bowl. Trim radishes, quarter them in wedges, and drop into the bowl along with the diced red onion, cubes of Asiago, and toasted walnuts.
Sprinkle the salt over the salad pieces and toss. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over salad and toss; sprinkle on the parsley, toss once more, and serve. Serving yield – six servings.