As I’ve stated in the past, much of what we cook at home is what I like to call “ad hoc” cooking; that is to say, I usually go the market and buy what looks fresh and is moderately priced. I, of course, have a standard list of items I purchase on a weekly basis but when it comes to proteins, vegetables, fruits, and Italian specialties it’s all about what looks good, is seasonal/local, and won’t cost an arm and a leg. A great example of a recent ad hoc dish is a Chicory Salad with Anchovy Dressing. I purchased a head of beautiful chickory on a Monday and when Friday came around it was still sitting in our crisper drawer. I usually saute chicory with garlic and olive oil but wanted a quick meal without turning on the stove, so I turned to Domenica Marchetti’s The Glorious Vegetables of Italy and did a quick index search for chicory.
What follows is a modified version of Domenica’s lovely chicory salad with anchovy dressing recipe utilizing some wonderful extra virgin olive oil from Olio2Go (viz., Olio Librandi Organic Nocellara del Belice, 2013). As Domenica elegantly states in her lovely book, Italy is home to some of the best vegetables on the planet and in turn wonderful vegetables dishes with an abundance of flavor and texture.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 piece of garlic, crushed and finely diced
- 2-3 good quality anchovies that have been preserved in olive oil, reserve some of the oil for the salad as well, finely minced
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- ½ red onion sliced thin
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 bunch of chicory washed well and dried, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 head of romaine lettuce washed well and dried, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch of parsley washed well, just the leavs
- ½ cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana
- 2 cups croutons, optional
- In a large bowl, add the lemon juice, garlic, anchovy, mustard, salt, and pepper. and wisk well. Add the mayo and wish again. Slowly add the olive oil and wish to achieve a good emulsification. Add the greens, croutons (optional) and red onions and toss well. Finally, grate as much cheese as you'd like and give the salad one last toss (don't grate too much because you'll loose all the nice flavors from the garlic, anchovy, etc.).