Eating healthy need not be boring and flavourless. In Spain, a salad always seems to make its way to the table for lunch or dinner. Whether dining out at a restaurant or preparing a meal at home, an ensalada mixta will be presented in the middle for everyone to share. Simple yet flavourful ingredients transform a mundane salad into a colourful and tasty appetizer or side dish. Ensalada mixta is such a staple in Spanish cuisine that it is eaten all year round. I have fond memories of sitting at my grandparents kitchen table in Madrid sharing a salad
Many of the ingredients for the salad are canned, so it makes it a quick recipe to pull together at a moment's notice. The key is to use very high quality ingredients, such as the tuna or the piquillo peppers to make it shine. There’s really no one right way to make an ensalada mixta, and so many of the ingredients below are interchangeable with your favourite quality pantry items.
Ingredients (For 4 People)
- 1/2 Small lettuce of your choice
- 1 Can/jar of good quality tuna
- 4 Hard boiled eggs
- 1/2 can of asparagus
- 1/3 Can/jar of piquillo peppers
- Green or Black olives
- Red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cucumber (sliced)
- 2 Tomatoes (sliced)- Best ones you can get your hands on.
- 1 Jar artichoke hearts
- Good quality olive oil
- Sherry Vinegar
- Thinly slice the red onion and marinate in sherry vinegar for 30 minutes to mellow the flavour of the onion.
- Boil the eggs until they are cooked the way you like them
- Wash your salad leaves and spin/pat to dry
- Separate the chunks of tuna into smaller pieces and spread over the lettuce
- Slice the piquillo peppers into thin strips and place over the salad
- Do the same with the cucumber and the tomatoes.
- The more delicate ingredients such as asparagus and artichoke hearts can be placed on top, along with a few olives.
- Cut the boiled eggs into halves or quarters and distribute evenly.
- Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar before seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve as an appetizer or a side dish and maybe with some good bread to mop up all that beautiful dressing left at the end. Que aproveche!