When you don't have all night to nibble cured meats, olives and cheese in an ad hoc dinner, this antipasto-style salad satisfies that craving but is also robust enough to serve as a main course.
If rushed for time, roughly chop the ingredients, then toss them together. When you have time for a more refined approach, slice and arrange the ingredients Nicoise-salad style. Alter the amounts and ingredients according to your mood. (Try using your standard vinaigrette, substituting mozzarella for feta or adding a handful of steamed green beans.)
Servings: 4 - 6
- 1 1/2 pounds new or fingerling potatoes, halved
- 1/2 large bell pepper, any color
- 3/4 cup salami (at least 4 ounces)
- 4 ounces feta cheese
- Basil leaves, to taste (may substitute generous pinch of crushed dried oregano)
- 6 Italian-style black olives, pitted
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion or chopped scallions
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the potatoes, reduce the heat slightly so the water boils gently and cook just until the potatoes are tender, 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the size.
While the potatoes cool, slice or dice the bell pepper, salami, cheese, basil and olives and transfer to a bowl. Add the onion or scallions. Set aside.
Transfer the potatoes to a colander to drain. Sprinkle with the vinegar. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, after about 5 minutes, slice them 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick or dice them the same size as the other ingredients. Transfer to the bowl and add salt, pepper and oil to taste. (May cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.)
Adapted from "Potato Salad" by Barbara Lauterbach (Chronicle, 2002).
Tested by Renee Schettler.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.