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SaladMy youngest daughter loves a good salad. As a matter of fact, sometimes I wonder if she is a rabbit. She can smell a cut cucumber several rooms away. She loves, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, celery, and her favorite-cucumbers. I once made her a tiered birthday “cake” with only cucumbers.

When she asked me the other day to revisit some of my Spain recipes, I decided to look at some recipes that I had not prepared. I found a “gem” in this little salad dressing. It was odd sounding at first -cumin in the dressing is not your typical salad dressing ingredient. But I am doing as the Southern Spaniards are doing- “when in Spain…..”

I am looking more forward to this salad come tomato season. There are few recipes that I like to make over and over and this is definitely one that I will keep close by. It is simple and complex, yet light on the tongue.

The recipe has Moorish influences from the Andalucian Region of Spain (Southern Spain) and comes from my cookbook “The Food & Wines of Spain” by Penelope Casas. Although, this one does not have cucumbers in it, you can definitely add what you like to make it yours. I think the highlight here is the dressing. I also used butter lettuce instead of escarole. Do what feels and tastes good to you. Best to you~denise

Ensalada A La Almoraina~ Escarole Salad with Tomato and Cumin Dressing

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed or ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 escarole, cut in pieces
  • Cured black olives and hard-boiled egg slices or wedges for garnish

Directions

In a blender or processor beat the tomato, cumin, garlic, paprika, and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Blend until smooth. Gradually pour in the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, the vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Arrange the escarole on individual salad plates. Spoon on the dressing and decorate with the olives and eggs.

Additional options: I added artichokes.

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