We won´t go down without a fight

It seems that most of us are constantly struggling against our bodies… for some reason, hips and tighs refuse to support our cooking endeavours properly, those rebelious bastards! But, not to panick, Lisa and Kelly devised a foodie event to help us all called Salad Stravaganza.

Basically, any sort of salad would do, so the possibilities were pretty much endless. But I didn´t have to think for too long: good old caponata salad was perfect for this. It has tuna, tomatoes, olives, anchovies, peppers and a special type of cracker called “galleta marinera” here, that looks something like this:

galletas marineras

galletas marineras 2

I´m sure you can use other types of crackers, just make sure it´s quite tough, kind of like very crisp breadstick.

You add the crackers a couple of hours before serving to let them soak in the salad juices so it lends a crunch, but not too much of a crunch that it gets in the way of the other flavors and textures. (The original recipe put the crackers at the beginning, but I found the crackers get too soggy for my liking that way.)

caponata

It´s really easy to assemble and has to be made at least 12 hours ahead of time to let the flavors meld together, so it´s perfect for a dinner party (with some meat if your guests are into meat, I just made this along with a Caesar´s salad and my guests were perfectly happy.)

Caesar´s

Being an Italian salad, there´s no fancy dressing, just a clever combination of ingredients to bring out the best flavor. Oh, and sorry for the bad bad pictures, the light wasn´t cooperating and I was in the midst of a cooking frenzy, so pictures weren´t high up on my list of priorities.

caponata 2

caponata 3

Well, that´s it, that´s all I can do to fight the expanding nature of hips and tighs, hope it helps, though I have the feeling they will win in the end.

 Caponata (adapted and translated from Cocina Básica, by Blanca Cotta)

Eggs, 3

Anchovies, 6

Green pepper, half

Red pepper, half

Green olives, 100 grams

Black olives, 100 grams (Here I just used a big bunch of green olives because I´m not much of a fan of black olives.)

Tuna, canned with water (The original recipe called for tuna in oil, but I hate it with a passion, I´d rather add some good olive oil later on.)

Crackers, called “galletas marineras”, or similar, 4 big ones or 8 small ones

Garlic, 3 big cloves

Tomatoes, 4

Scallions, 2 tablespoons (optional)

Olive oil

Vinager

Capers, 2 tablespoons (the original recipe called for picked cucumbers, so you can use that instead if you´d like)

Salt and pepper

1. Boil the eggs for 8 minutes (after the water has started boiling, that is). Peel them once they are cold.

2. Cut the tomatoes and the scallions and put them in the bottom of the bowl you want to serve the salad in. Add a bit of salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar at this point.

3. Then add the tuna, the capers (or pickled cucumbers), the boiled eggs (chopped), the olives (chopped), the anchovies (yes, also chopped, in this case, very finely so that the flavor spreads out), and the peppers, chopped into thin strips. At this point, you should season the salad again (keep in mind that the anchovies and the olives are quite salty, though).

4. Cover with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for at least 12 hours (I like it better around 24 hours after it´s made).

5. About 2 hours before you plan to serve it, peel the garlic cloves. Using a fork, scrape the garlic cloves against the crackers to get them all nice and garlicky. Once you are done, break the crackers into medium-sized pieces and mix them into the salad.

6. Take the salad out of the fridge about an hour before you plan to serve it to allow the flavors to come out more clearly. Enjoy!

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9 Comments

Filed under events, savory, vegetables

9 responses to “We won´t go down without a fight

  1. You see? This is why I love you so! I love caponata! And it’s been years and years since I’ve had a true caponata.. what a rush of memories your post has brought me! =)

    Thank you SO MUCH! Both from my thighs (heee!) and my heart for reminding me of this delicious salad that my Uncles made me when I was just a lil trouble maker. 😉

    Hugs!
    xoxo

  2. OMG I just realized.. we’re growing eggplant in our garden for the first time this year – I can’t wait to use our first lil eggplant for this salad! YUM!

    ‘kay just felt the need to share.. hehee

    xoxo

  3. A salad made hours before you serve it? That’s a perfect stress reliever. If you don’t mind I’ll just leave the anchovies out…I’m on the wrong side of the great anchovies divide.

  4. Let the hips and thighs win! If that’s a woman’s natural shape she’ll look better for having a little meat on the area. Says the pear shape…

  5. This looks really tasty! I really enjoy caponata, but haven’t tried a recipe with the special crackers you describe. It sounds delicious.

    I totally understand the cooking frenzy. It’s hilarious to try and cook, talk to people near by and take pictures all at the same time. The bummer is that after all the hard work, I never seem to be able to capture the “finale.”

    Great entry!

  6. Wow. Don’t worry about the photos. This is fabulous looking salad! And it’s fun to find the few that can be fix ahead of time and be better for it.

  7. Lisa- I´m so happy this salad brought back such happy memories! And yep, the eggplant version must be amazing as well, though I have yet to try it.

    Karen- Yeah, I love things that can be made ahead of time too, it leaves plenty of time to relax. And no problem about not using anchovies, just up the flavor with more olives, more seasoning or whatever you feel like using.

    Amanda- I´m not ready to let nature takes its course just yet… says another pear shape hahaha

    Kelly- Exactly, and friends never seem to understand the importance of getting the right shot.

    Tanna- Thanks! I hate posting bad pictures, but the salad is worth the entry anyway.

  8. Pingback: Salad ‘Stravaganza: Kelly’s Round Up | Sass & Veracity

  9. Pingback: Salad ‘Stravaganza: Kelly’s Round Up | Sass & Veracity

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