Category Archives: Salad Recipes

Panzanella Pantesca

July 17, 2014

This year we went all out with the tomatoes. We planted a bunch of different varieties hoping to get different flavors, colors and sizes. In these last few days we have harvested 10 -12 boxes every day. Carlo’s granny Rosa is making tomato sauce to preserve for the winter. We are eating, giving away and paying for our breakfasts in the bar with tomatoes.

Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan bread salad. Here is a local version with anchovies and the Rolls Royce, the Bentley, rather, of capers “Capperi di Pantelleria.”  This panzanella is a perfect light and satisfying meal to enjoy on a hot summer’s day. Invite some friends for lunch, pop a chilled bottle of prosecco and dig in.


Panzanella Pantesca
Serves 6-8
1/2 Loaf of old white bread
1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) extra virgin olive oil
3 Each cloves of garlic
2 Pounds (1 kilo) of mixed variety of tomatoes
1 Red small sized onion
1 Fresh red chili pepper minced
1/3 Cup ( 0.8 dl) black olives
4 Tablespoon rinsed and drained salt packed capers ( Capperi di Pantelleria)
20 Small fillets of anchovies packed in oil (reserve oil for dressing)
1 Bunch of basil leaves
1 1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoon of the oil that contains the anchovies
Sea salt flakes and fresh ground pepper to your taste

Break bread into bite sized pieces, in a saute pan over medium heat, warm the oil add crush the cloves of garlic add to the pan, then add in a little sea salt flakes. Toast the bread in the pan with seasoned garlic oil until it’s golden. Remove toasted bread from the pan place on top of a paper lined tray and set a side. Let any left over oil cool and reserve to use in the dressing.

Wash and remove the outer skin of the red onion. Cut off the stem side, lay flat on the cut surface and proceed to cut the onion in half. Remove the root core then length wise cutting stem to root cut the onion into strips.

Finely chop the chlli pepers, wash, core and cut the tomatoes into wedges.

Combine in a large bowl the bread, tomatoes and onions, capers, olives, anchovies and basil leaves.

In a small bowl whisk together, balsamic vinegar, rest of the olive oil, 2 Tablespoon of anchovies oil, the red chili, pepper and sea salt.

Pour dressing over the top of the bread, tomatoes and onions in the large bowl. Toss all ingredients as to combine everything, then, let the bread soak up the juice from the tomatoes and olive oil.


Get your Capperi di Pantelleria here!

Zucchini salad

June 23, 2014

June is high season for zucchini in gardens and farm fields all over Sicily. Here in Pantelleria the local name for zucchini is Cucuzze. Every day we harvest boxes of different variety of zucchini. These last few days its been really hot weather by mid day, zucchini salad is the perfect fresh light lunch! Keeps the kitchen cool, it also can be served as a side some grilled fish. I used a white balsamic vinegar but if you don’t have that on hand you can replace it with any white vinegar.

Zucchini salad
Serves 4

3 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Garlic cloves crushed
2 Chilies cut in small pieces and seeds removed
2 Tablespoons shredded lemon zest
1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh grounded black pepper

11/2 lbs (700 gram) zucchini
A handful of basil leaves

Mix all ingredients for the marinade.
Cut the zucchini thinly and add to the marinade, toss to coat the zucchini evenly.
Let the zucchini rest in the marinade for at least 20 minuets.
Mix with basil leaves and serve.

AT marinated zucchini salad-CF109126

Pear and walnut salad with gorgonzola

October 21, 2013

I got these really sweet pears from Giovanni, a farmer from Rekhale. When he’s not working his land, on Saturdays you can find him selling his fruit and vegetables at the Farmer’s Market In Pantelleria. With these lovely Pantescan pears I made a yummy salad. The sweetness of the pears blend so very well with the toasted walnuts and the saltiness of the gorgonzola.


Style: "Neutral"

Pear and walnut salad with gorgonzola cheese
Serves 4
1 garlic clove
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T honey
24 walnuts
4 sweet pears
1 T olive oil for the pan
7 oz (200 grams) of gorgonzola
4 oz (110 gram) arugula or any other lettuce of your choice.


Press and chop the garlic very finely
Mix with the other dressing ingredients
Dry toast walnuts in a dry pan
Slice the pears, add a splash of olive oil in the frying pan and fry them briefly to soften a little bit and sprinkle some sea salt on top.
Crumble the gorgonzola cheese in pieces.
Organize the plates with tossed salad and sprinkle some dressing over, add the gorgonzola pieces, toasted walnuts, pears and serve.


Clementine and fennel salad

March 5, 2013

In Pantelleria there are many varieties of citrus fruits.
Clementines were initially a grafting between tangerines and oranges. They are usually seedless, the peel is thin and comes off easily. I picked these the other day and made this salad with fennel and walnuts. I love fennel in every way, cooked or raw. I cut this fennel very thinly and let it soak up a vinaigrette dressing for an hour before serving. The clementines were sweet and delicious.clementine tree-CF064681

Clementine and fennel salad
Side dish for 2-3 or 1 main course salad

4 1/2 oz (125 grams) fresh fennel bulb
3 clementines
1/4 cup walnuts
10 black olives
1 large mint sprig (about 12 leaves)

2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and grounded black pepper to taste.

Cut the fennel very thin using a sharp knife.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients taste with salt and black pepper.
Toss the fennel with the dressing and set a side for soaking for an hour.
Wash, peel the clementines and cut into slices.
Toast the walnuts in a dry pan (a suggestion, don’t leave the stove when doing this, nuts burn fast and easily).
On a plate layer the fennel, mandarins, mint, walnuts and finish with olives.
clementinesalad-CF065464 2Dinner plate

Pomegranates in the garden

October 26, 2012

Just outside the house that I use as my office space here in Pantelleria, there is a beautiful pomegranate tree, and at the moment it is full of lovely fruits that need to be picked before the birds eat them all. When I’m in NY or in Stockholm I buy pomegranates for their beauty and their powerful antioxidant qualities. Here, I just reach out and pick them by hand. The feeling is simply luxurious. Here is a simple and fast recipe for a pomegranate and quinoa salad with feta cheese and nuts.


Pomegranate quinoa salad
Serves  4

2 cups (4.8 dl) of quinoa
1 table spoon liquid ( or 1/2 cube) vegetable stock
7 oz ( 200 gram) feta cheese
1 cup ( 2.4 dl) of pomegranate seeds
4 oz (120 gram) of arugula
20 fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup (1.2 dl) mixed nuts
1 small red onion
salt, pepper and olive oil

Rinse and boil the quinoa according to the instruction on the package, adding a spoonful of vegetable stock.
Set aside and allow to cool, sprinkle some olive oil and stir.
Chop the red onion into small pieces and chop the nuts into larger chunks.
Mix all ingredients and serve.

pommegranate quinoa salad-CF054552