A Sicilian side salad

Sicilian dining is inspiring because it so clearly demonstrates that you don’t need exotic ingredients or a gourmet background to create an unforgettable dish—you simply need to love food and respect that each component has a special place within a recipe. With fresh ingredients and a commitment to layering flavors, simple dishes like this insulate g rave reviews. Sicilian dining is inspiring because it so clearly demonstrates that you don’t need exotic ingredients or a gourmet background to create an unforgettable dish—you simply need to love food and respect that each component has a special place within a recipe. With fresh ingredients and a commitment to layering flavors, simple dishes like this insalata garner rave reviews.

Insalata Siciliano

This is a Sicilian-style take on potato salad that my mom use to make trying to keep us away from rich mayonnaise. Traditionally this salad has its roots not only in Sicily, but with many of its Mediterranean neighbors that influenced additions of olives and salty capers, it’s easy to see why. While some variations upon this dish add seafood (particularly tuna) to make it stand on its own as more of an entrée, I prefer it as a side—it pairs nicely with whatever dishes you've got hot off the grill.

This recipe serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of small (or fingerling) potatoes, washed with skin on

  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar

  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 12 green olives, pitted and halved

  • 2 Tbsp. capers, drained

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

  • 3 basil leaves, torn

  • Lemon juice, to taste

Preparation:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

  • As potatoes are cooking, place onions in red wine vinegar and let soak for 30 minutes. Remove onions from the vinegar and set aside.

  • When potatoes have cooled to room temperature, peel and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes.

  • In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, tomatoes, olives, and capers.

  • In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano.

  • Pour the dressing over the salad, add the basil, and toss until combined.

  • Season with lemon juice and serve at room temperature.

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