Insalata di Rinforzo Recipe – Reinforcement Salad

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The reinforcement salad is one of the most typical side dishes for Christmas coming from Naples and it’s one of that recipes you don’t understand until you don’t give it a try. It’s a very well versed recipe and it can be a good add on to your Christmas dinner.

What is the reinforcement salad or insalata di rinforzo?

Every family has its own variant of the reinforcement salad and even within the same family there may be different variations.

According to the tradition, the reinforcement salad is called in this way because it is presumed to be reinforced every time you bring it on the table.
Let me explain: the very first salad is brought to the table on Christmas Eve and it is potentially served with the addition of new ingredients, the so called reinforcements precisely, until the New Year’s Eve.

Actually the salad reinforcement was born as a way to compliment the meatless Christmas Eve’s meal but in the popular imagination the idea of adding more and more ingredients to a salad has still the majority of the supporters.

To make a proper reinforcement salad just put as many ingredients as possible into a bowl; there is a basic recipe that I’ve tried to summarize but the more you can improvise the best it is.

What you need to prepare a bowl of reinforcement salad
1 cauliflower
Pitted black olives
Green olives
Pickled peppers
Mixed pickles
Salted anchovies
White wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil

How to make the reinforcement salad
1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and boil for no longer than 10 minutes in salted water. Put the cauliflower aside to cool.
2. In the meantime, cut the peppers, remove seeds and core and cut into wedges. Cut the anchovies into small pieces and, if necessary, reduce the size of the pickles.
3. When the cauliflower is cold put it in a bowl and season with black and green olives, capers, the pepper, the anchovies, pickles, salt, pepper, white vinegar and extra virgin olive. Mix well and let stand for at least 4 hours before serving.

Preparation time: 20 minutes + rest

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Categories: Christmas recipes, Traditional Italian recipes
Article written by Veruska Anconitano aka La Cuochina Sopraffina


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