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Liguarian Vegetable & Bread Salad
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“This is an ancient Ligurian salad in which all the ingredients were arranged in layers. Use whatever vegetables look best at the market.”
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into thin slivers
2 cloves garlic, peeled
12 toasted ¼-inch-thick slices French baguette
6 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, divided
2 teaspoons water
1 6-ounce can chunk light tuna, squeezed dry and flaked (see Note)
4 anchovies, rinsed and patted dry
6 large basil leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon dried oregano
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and cut into thin wedges
12 imported imported black olives, pitted and chopped
8 teaspoons extra virgin-olive oil, divided
1 large bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1Put onions in a small bowl with water to cover and set aside to soak for at least 10 minutes.
2Rub the inside of a salad bowl with one of the garlic cloves. Rub the toasts with the other garlic clove. Mix 2 teaspoons of the vinegar with 2 teaspoons water and sprinkle over the toasts. Mix tuna and anchovies together in a small bowl. Mix basil and oregano together in another small bowl. Drain the onions.
3To assemble the salad, put three toasts in the bottom of the prepared salad bowl. Top with tomatoes and sprinkle with one-fourth of the basil mixture, one-fourth of the tuna mixture and one-fourth of the olives. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the oil and 1 teaspoon of the remaining vinegar. Add a layer of toasts, top with onions, basil mixture, tuna mixture, olives, oil and vinegar. Repeat the layering, using peppers in the third layer and cucumbers in the final layer.
4Let the salad rest for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, then toss it gently and season with salt and pepper.
Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. The FDA/EPA advises that women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children consume no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week; up to 12 ounces of canned light tuna is considered safe.