Insalata di Zucca
I found the chapter on squash in the Archidipno, ovvern Dell' Insalata fascinating. Salvatore Massonio writes that Pliny had a lot to say about squash, and in the same breath he tells us that squash is easy to digest, that it quenches thirst, and that it goes well with the following condiments: oregano, mustard, and saffron. He also describes a way of dressing squash with oil, pepper, and orange juice. This recipe is a combination of one that I found in an Italian cookbook printed 350 years after the Archidipno, and Massonio's advice.
3 whole cloves
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds butternut or
Hubbard squash, peeled, seeded,
and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into eighths
4 teaspoons capers
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the cloves in a large saucepan, add water, and fit it with a metal steamer. Over medium heat, steam the squash and onion for about 15 minutes, or until a tester easily passes through them. Remove from the steamer and let cool.
2. Put the squash in a large bowl. Coarsely chop the onion and add to the bowl. Add the capers.
3. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sauté the pine nuts until they begin to brown and smell like freshly popped corn. Remove from heat and add to the squash mixture.
4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the orange zest and juice, mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk together until emulsified. Add to the large bowl and toss with the other ingredients to thoroughly combine. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour before serving. To store, refrigerate in a tightly covered container for up to 2 days.
Authentic Italian Salads for All Seasons
By Susan Simon
Chronicle Books, June 2001
132 pages, full-color photographs throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
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This page created September 2001