Saturday, January 15, 2011

Son3 is in West Virginia skiing this weekend and we ate out last night, so we were wondering what to have that required little (no) cooking. Fortunately the Hub was given a cookbook for Christmas from one of our favorite places in New York. ( Does anyone but me see the irony of this gift? Other than making grits, I don't think he has cooked at all during our marriage) We decided the Carmine Salad would meet the requirements of really great flavor and no cook time. If you have never eaten there do try it. It's in the theater district on W.44th between 7th and 8th. A word of warning though. They serve everything family style and the portions are huge. The first time we dined there each of us (all 5) ordered an entree plus the salad. There was enough food for about a dozen people. We have eaten there about 5 times now and the salad has never disappointed us (nor has anything else we have had there)

It took a quick trip to Publix to grab everything, then was just a matter of chopping and eating. It was as good as we remembered, but there was still too much to eat! I guess that is just the curse of Carmine's

Carmine's Family Style Cookbook Michael Ronis with Mary Goodbody

Carmine Salad

1/2 medium head iceberg lettuce
1 medium head radicchio
2 bunches watercress
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Genoa Salami
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Mortadella
1/2 cup diced Provolone
1/2 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 small cucumber peeled and cut in a large dice
6 pepperoncini peppers
6 large green olives (pitted)
6 Kalamata olives (pitted)
3 radishes trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large ripe tomato cored and cut in wedges
1 recipe Carmine's vinaigrette
pinch oregano
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Carmine's vinaigrette
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
pinch of oregano
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Wash the iceberg, radicchio and the watercress. Cut the lettuces in wedges and put in a bowl of ice water. Remove the watercress leaves form the stems and add them to the bowl. When they are well chilled and very crisp drain in a colander and run through a salad spinner to dry. Put them on a platter and top with the rest of the salad ingredients in the order listed. You eat first with your eyes so make it pretty. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and dust with the pinch of oregano. Salt a very little and add black pepper to your personal taste.

We had only the salad and a roll each for supper. With both of us eating until we were stuffed we still had 1/3 of the salad left (lunch tomorrow?) I can't think of anything I would do differently to this recipe. Well, except the step about putting the lettuce in ice water to crisp it. I bought really fresh lettuce and radicchio so I just washed and dried it. It might be necessary in the middle of the summer when things wilt quickly, but in the middle of winter there was no problem skipping it.

I actually remembered to take a picture of the finished dish, (mumbles something here about Son3 being in West Virginia and having a new computer and maybe not having learned how to make the pictures jump from the camera into said new machine) The camera is not going anywhere and Son3 will be home Monday night. I will try and remember to get him to make the magic happen so you can see what a truly pretty presentation it is.

Good eating!

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