Pantesca Salad

The first time we prepared this salad inspired to Pantelleria’s flavor gems – capers – we were not in the tiny island of Pantelleria, in Sicily. We were actually upstate New York, in New Paltz, at the dreamy farm of Ray Bradley. We were kicking off a new Gustiamo tradition: a Ferragosto (15th of August) celebration with Ray, our absolute favorite farmer. We cooked a full menu for 60 (sixty!) people, marrying together Ray’s fantastic produce and some Gustiamo staple ingredients. Here’s an adapted version of the recipe for a smaller crowd for the balmy weather.

Ingredients

SERVES: 4-6 people
TIME: 45 minutes

4 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold or Eastern)
8 fresh plum tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
12 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
Black olives (40 gr/ 1.5 oz)
4 anchovies, cleaned, filleted, and torn into pieces
Capers, rinsed and patted dry (30 gr/1 oz)
12 caper leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of EVOO
Fine sea salt
Black pepper

Preparation

  1. Scrub the potatoes. Boil them until they are easily pierced with a fork (30-35 minutes). Drain and let them cool. Peel, halve, and slice them crosswise. Transfer to a large salad bowl.
  2. Peel and halve the onion lengthwise, then slice crosswise very thinly. Put the onion slices into a bowl with cold water and set aside.
  3. Wash the tomatoes and cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes.
  4. Add to the salad bowl tomatoes, capers, caper leaves, basil, anchovies, black olives, and drained onions.
  5. Add enough EVOO to coat all the ingredients, season with salt and black pepper, and toss to mix thoroughly.
  6. Serve immediately or chill with a slice of bread.