As I continue the "Italian Cooking" series, it is about time we pay a little attention to salads. Italians are big on salads. The Italian people love their vegetables, fruits and nuts. They have created all types of salad dishes from them and added their favorite herbs and seasonings. They also use many of their meats, poultry, fish/seafood and even breads to enhance the salads. Not to mention their beloved cheeses.
When most people think of salads, they think of lettuce or other greens as the basis for them. Their are many of this type in Italian cooking. However, Italian food is probably one of the cuisines that offers so many other types of salads without leafy greens.
This week I picked two salads that help represent these non leafy greens types. The first, "Fennel & Orange Salad," is a simple but flavorful salad that uses just 3 ingredients plus the dressing. It uses an ingredient that many of you have never tasted and may not even be familiar with today. It is "Fennel" and it has an aniseed (licorice) flavor to it. It can be used raw or cooked.
If you haven't tried fennel before, please do. There are many more recipes out there using this wonderful ingredient. If you have read my cookbook (which contains much more than just recipes) or followed this food blog from the beginning, you know that I always suggest pushing your food boundaries This would be a good one to try.
The second recipe this week is for a "Roasted Red Pepper Salad." Again it is a simple recipe. If you have never tried roasting peppers, here is your chance. It is not that difficult and the resulting flavor is amazing. It is also much less expensive compared to buying jars of roasted peppers in the store. This recipe only has 4 ingredients plus the dressing. And actually both dressings only have a few ingredients too.
Now, both of these recipes can be used with many different meals. They don't have to be Italian either.
I still have 2 or 3 more segments of "Italian Cooking" yet to come. I do hope that they have been helpful and that you have tried many of the dishes.
I want to thank the many people that have commented on the new blog design/layout. I am surprises that they have all been positive comments (but quite happy about it). I'm sure there must be some negative reactions or even some other suggestions for me. Please continue to respond to me with comments on the blog.
One of the best responses has been to the language translation tab. I am very happy to have so many following this blog from around the world. Thank you again.
Have a great week and "Happy Cooking."