This recipe is from my Times Union story for February, and goes along with Patatas Bravas with Saffron Alioli and Banana and Nutella Empanadas.
One cafe we visited in Madrid had a salad listed on its menu, no description. It was just: salad. I typically like salad, no matter what and where, so I ordered it. It came in a simple bowl and is now what I call a Spanish salad. It was plump and salty, full of color and texture. I dreamed of it for days and weeks after we arrived home
. It was easy to recreate, but not of course, exactly the same (we’re not eating it on a sidewalk in Madrid, after all). Combine a few ingredients that you may even have on hand, let them sit around for awhile and marry up, then serve it all with bread that you’ve toasted and brushed with olive oil. It makes for an easy dinner, a good winter potluck offering, or a happy lunchbox addition. A note: Spain is famous for its jamon and for good reason. Iberian jamon is salty and silky, downright delicious. You can buy it here, but the price tag is steep (a whopping $15.99 for three ounces). I substituted thick slices of imported Italian salami.
Olive Salad, Spanish Style
1 cup mixed pitted olives, chopped
1 cup sliced roasted red peppers (jarred is fine)
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered
2 tablespoons capers
½ cup packed flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
4 ounces crumbled manchego (Spanish sheep’s milk cheese)
4 ounces sliced salami
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Cracked black pepper
Toasted slices of baguette, brushed with olive oil, for serving
Combine the olives, peppers, artichoke hearts, capers, parsley, cheese and salami in a glass bowl and toss gently to combine. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and paprika, then pour over the salad and turn to coat well. Crack plenty of black pepper over all. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours before serving. This salad is best marinated for 24 hours and served at room temperature. Serve with the bread.
Keeps for 4 days, refrigerated.