Recipe Source: Braimbridge, Sophie and Jo Glynn. The Food of Italy: A Journey for Food Lovers. Murdoch Books, Miller's Point, 2008 p. 51
The original name for this salad was "Insalata di Rinforzo," but I didn't think that would convey enough information about the food. The vegetables taste kind of, well, pickled. That's okay. That's very much okay, actually. While I'm not convinced that the anchovies were really necessary, the dish was very tasty and we both really enjoyed it. For those of you who fear The Slime, the okra didn't get beat up and therefore didn't release the kind of goo that the vegetable is known for.
I made a bunch of changes, some of which were procedural. I replaced the carrots with okra (I really don't care for carrots) and I replaced the green beans (out of season) with turnips (in season.) I simplified the dressing, leaving out all of the oil, in order to lighten the dish up a bit. If you make this dish, consider omitting the anchovies unless you really like them. I don't have any particular objection, but they didn't taste like they really belonged in this dish.
Pickled Vegetable Salad (serves 4; approx. $2.53/serving)
9 ounces fresh okra, whole
1 turnip, cut into matchsticks
1/2 red onion
1 head cauliflower
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon capers
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
3 ounces pitted Kalamata olives
- Skimmer or slotted spoon (the skimmer makes much quicker work of the process)
- Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, water and bay leaf in the saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add the okra and cook 2 - 3 minutes. Remove with the skimmer and transfer to the bowl.
- Add the turnip to the pan. Cook another 2 - 3 minutes and transfer to the bowl with the skimmer.
- Add the cauliflower and onion to the bowl. Cook another 2 - 3 minutes and transfer to the bowl with the skimmer.
- Let the vegetables cool a bit in the bowl.
- When you're ready to serve, drizzle with the lemon juice. Add the parsley, capers, anchovies and olives. Mix well and serve.