Serving
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Isabella Salad
Italy
  -   Insalata Isabella
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 #  
***
3+ hr  
Most
This salad, composed of both raw and cooked ingredients, is more of a project than most salads, but is very good for parties - it'd be too much trouble in smaller quantity. Parts can be made well ahead and mixed together just before serving - see Note-5.



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1
1-1/4
1/2
14
5
8
1
1
1
1
1/4
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1
1/2
3
1
1/3
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c
#
T
oz
oz
oz
#
#
T
T
c
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cl
c
T
t
t
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-- Salad
Rice, raw (1)
Eggplant
Salt
Zucchini (2)
Lima Beans (3)
Bell Pepper, red
Tomatoes, ripe
Cucumbers (4)
Basil, fresh
Oregano, fresh
Olive Oil, ExtV
-- Dressing
Garlic
Olive Oil, ExtV
Lemon Juice
Salt
Pepper
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Make   -   (3+ hrs - 1-1/4 hrs work)
  1. Steam the RICE with just enough water to cook it through. The grains should still be quite separate. Fluff the rice gently, chill well, preferably overnight. See Note-5.
  2. Dice EGGPLANT into pieces about 3/8 inch on a side. Tumble with salt and let sit for at least 1/2 hour, tossing now and then.
  3. Slice ZUCCHINI about 3/8 inch thick. If over 1-1/2 inch diameter cut slices in half.
  4. Thaw LIMA BEANS.
  5. Char the skin of the BELL PEPPER using your propane torch. Brush the skin off under running water. Cut into strips about 3/8 inch wide and 1 inch long.
  6. Slice TOMATOES about 3/8 inch thick, and cut the slices into quarters, or however you like.
  7. Slice CUCUMBERS about 1/4 inch thick. If you have only standard green blimps you'll have to peel them, cut them in half lengthwise and seed them before slicing.
  8. Chop BASIL and OREGANO small.
  9. Steam Lima Beans and Zucchini until zucchini is just cooked through. The seed mass should be translucent, but not falling apart at all. Cool well.
  10. Rinse Eggplant and wring out excess moisture. Heat 1/4 c Olive Oil and fry Eggplant, stirring until quite soft, but not yet turning to mush. Cool well.
  11. Assemble Salad:   Tumble together all Salad items and chill in the fridge.
  12. Make Dressing:   Mash GARLIC well. Mix all Dressing items.
  13. When ready to serve, place Salad in a bowl. Shake up Dressing until frothy. Pour over Salad.
NOTES:
  1. Rice:   Use a long grain rice that is not sticky. Thai Jasmine is stickier than some, but separate enough to be usable.
  2. Zucchini:   These should be young, narrow zucchini, not more than 1-3/4 inches at the widest part.
  3. Lima Beans:   I prefer the big fordhook lima beans, but they can be hard to find. "Baby" limas will work OK. The pattern recipe calls for fresh lima beans - good luck with that. Frozen works fine.
  4. Cucumbers:   These should be Persian, Japanese, or some other cucumber that doesn't need to be peeled and seeded. If you have only standard green blimps you will have to peel and seed them.
  5. Party Plan:   Cook the rice as much two days ahead. Chill it well, loosely packed in a covered bowl. When chilled, bag loosely, keeping in the fridge until needed - making sure nothing gets set on top of it. Do the cooked items (beans, zucchini, eggplant) the day before, mix, bag and refrigerate. The raw items and dressing can be made hours ahead and refrigerated. When ready to serve, break up any lumps in the rice, and toss everything together in a very large mixing bowl (I use a shallow 15 inch stainless bowl for mixing party salads). Just before serving, shake the dressing up until it is frothy and pour over the salad. Toss. As tossed, it can still be re-bagged and held in the fridge for a few hours.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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