This insalatone, literally a large salad, is something that you would find on pretty much every cafe lunch menu on the Italian peninsula.
It’s something that Italians adore: an easy, light and healthy way to take care of your midday meal.
When summer arrives, I feel the need for a fresh plate, and this is just perfect. I love the crunchiness of the mixed vegetables and their contrasting flavors. The added protein makes it a complete meal. Plus, it’s very colorful, a truly beautiful and appetizing dish.
This recipe is more like a guide than a set recipe.
The base should be fresh greens and tomatoes, plus olives, mozzarella, tuna and boiled eggs. You can then add ingredients as you like. This combination is just a suggestion, to give you a few ideas, but I also love adding fennel, celery, champignon (button, crimini) mushrooms and previously cooked beans of any kind, which I didn’t have on hand when I shot these photos.
Small-sized zucchini are also a sweet and lovely addition when super fresh, but they acquire a bitter taste if stored for a few days.
The insalatone should be served with fresh, good quality bread.
Serves 4 (main)
Total time: 18-25 minutes (depending on how many vegetables you use)
| Place the eggs in a small saucepan with tap water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 7 minutes, then run under cold water to cool.
Meanwhile, wash and clean the salad greens and all the other vegetables. Clean the artichoke as explained here. Cut the vegetables in bite-sized pieces.
|If you have a mandoline, use it to slice the artichokes, radishes and carrots. Otherwise just make sure to slice them really thin, especially the artichoke!|
|Toss all the vegetables into the serving bowl together with the salad greens, cut into bite-sized pieces.|
|Pit and slice the olives; cube the mozzarella cheese.Peel and slice the boiled eggs.Add the drained tuna, olives, corn, mozzarella cheese to the salad bowl.|
|Pour over the salt, the vinegar and the extra-virgin olive oil.Toss well.|
|As a finishing touch, top with the sliced eggs.|