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Pantellerian Potato Salad - not your father's potato salad.


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Posted to Thread #11120 at 11:16 pm on Jun 20, 2008

Pantellerian Potato Salad
Insalata Pantesca
serves 4-6
from Red, White & Greens The Italian Way with Vegetables by Faith Williger

Tracking down recipes on the island of Pantelleria isnít easy. Everyone I spoke to had a slightly different version of the same dish and insalata pantesca is no exception. Itís found with green or black olives or sometimes with no olives at all, with or without tuna. I like to cut the tomatoes and potatoes into chunks although most island cooks prefer them sliced. And although itís usually assembled at the last minute I like to prepare this salad at least 30 minutes before serving so that the vegetables marinate in the extra virgin, wine vinegar and oregano dressing. Donít bother with jars of supermarket oregano. Fresh oregano is a better choice.
Ingredients:
1 pound potatoes
1 tbs sea salt
1 pound tomatoes
1 large red onion
2-3 tbs capers
1/4 cup black or green olives
1 tbs wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
I tbs dried Sicilian oregano (or fresh if you canít find quality dried oregano)
Freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

1 Place the potatoes in a large pot and add water to completely cover. Add 1 tbs salt and boil potatoes for 20-30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a toothpick. Drain the potatoes, peel while still warm, and cool.
2 Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze into a sieve over a small bowl, pressing contents to extract juice. Save juice for another purpose. Cut seeded, juiced tomatoes into chunks.
3 Cut the onion in half, then into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
4 Slice the potatoes 1/2 inch thick or into chunks.
5 Rinse the capers to eliminate excess salt. Toss the potatoes, onions, tomatoes, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, oregano, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and serve.

Notes:

1 I didnít peel the potatoes. I feel that itís a waste of good vitamins and I used red new potatoes for the color. Besides, Iím lazy.
2 I used grape tomatoes cut in half. They didnít need squeezing.
3 I used a medium onion case I donít like too much onion.
4 I used a mix of green Italian and Kalamata olives. Prolly more like 1/2 cup total.
5 The olive oil was extra virgin when I bought it. Considering the loud music I heard coming from the pantry a few days before I made the salad, I wonít swear to itís morals come dinnertime.
6 Try sautťing a mix of onion and scallions (from Charlie)


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