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Spanish Style Mixed Salad - Ensalada Mixta a la Española

There are typically two kinds of salads on Spanish menus: simple lettuce and tomato or what is popularly known as ensalata mixta, a somewhat more embellished version of that basic salad. It is always brought to the table "undressed," and diners season it and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar as they please. To my taste, it is the ideal salad in which all ingredients beautifully complement one another, and my husband, who is not particularly fond of salads, eats this one with gusto. You can vary it as you wish. -- Penelope Casas


Makes 4 servings.

Prep Time: 35 min.

Cook Time: 0 min.

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Ingredients:

About 4 cups torn hearts of romaine lettuce
1/2 medium onion, preferably Vidalia or other sweet onion, slivered
1 small carrot, scraped and coarsely grated
About 10 sliced pickled beets, cut in halves
2 ripe and flavorful small tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
2 large hard-boiled eggs, sliced
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup Bonito or yellowfin tuna (Atun claro), in chunks
16 small Spanish green olives with pits
8 large white Spanish asparagus spears
Extra virgin olive oil
Wine vinegar, preferably mild white wine or sherry vinegar

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Preparation:

Place the lettuce on individual salad plates, scatter on the onion, and cover with the grated carrot. Arrange the beet halves and tomato and egg wedges around the edges of the plates. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Place the tuna at the center of the salad and scatter with the olives. Finish with the aspargus spears, attractively arranged. Dress to taste with oil and vinegar. Serve.


from La Cocina de Mama by Penelope Casas

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