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Islander Salad (Insalata isolana)
G. Franco Romagnoli
“Here, crisp lettuce is tossed with ripe tomatoes, potatoes, capers, basil and olives. Tomato juice is the secret ingredient in the dressing.”
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 head crisp lettuce, such as romaine or iceberg, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces (10 cups)
1 large ripe tomato, cored and cut into wedges
2 small new potatoes, cooked and cubed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon drained capers, rinsed and chopped
6 black olives, preferably Sicilian, pitted and chopped
½ cup crumbled ricotta salata, (see Note) or feta cheese (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons tomato juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1Cover onions with very cold water in a small bowl and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain the onions and place them in a salad bowl, along with lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, basil, capers, olives and cheese.
2Whisk together tomato juice, oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss.
Note: Ricotta salata, a firm, salted ricotta, can be found at well-stocked cheese shops and Italian markets.