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Sicilian Harvest Salad

From The Tra Vigne Cookbook: Seasons in the California Wine Country

1/2 cup raisins
Boiling water
1 cup halved large seedless grapes
1 tablespoon diced dried apricots
1-1/2 tablespoons fried rosemary (see note)
1/4 large red onion, cut into small slivers
Juice of 1 large lemon
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 large head radicchio (about 3/4 pound)
2 cups loosely packed (preferably baby) spinach
12 thin slices prosciutto or 1/4 pound sausage, grilled and cubed (optional)
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted

Put the raisins in a small bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Let stand until plump and soft, about 10 minutes. Drain.

Put the raisins, grapes, apricots, rosemary and onion in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and stir in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.


Separate the radicchio into leaves, saving the heart for another use. Tear into bite-size pieces and add to the dried fruit mixture along with the spinach. Toss well. Divide among 4 plates and top with the prosciutto. Scatter the pine nuts over the top.

Note: Frying rosemary on the branch removes its slightly soapy, bitter flavor, so you can use more. Deep-fry the rosemary for 30 seconds and drain on paper towels. Strip the leaves off the stems and crush the leaves in the paper towels to remove any excess oil. Mince and store in clean, tightly sealed container. In addition to the preceding and other recipes, use the fried rosemary to make a seasoned salt by adding it to a mixture of black pepper, dried lemon zest and salt.

Yields 4 servings.



(Updated: 10/28/08 SN)

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