Italian Salads : Gino D’Acampo

Gino D’Acampo says Italian salad recipes tend to be pretty basic, unlike their British and American counterparts. Instead of trying to force in as many ingredients as possible, Italians use simple, fresh individual ingredients designed to provide a refreshing accompaniment to the main meal. Almost all Italian salads use extra virgin olive oil as the essential ingredient as well as white, red or balsamic vinegar. 

There are dozens of recipes for Italian salads to choose from, including Insalata Fantasia, a rocket, pomegranate and pine nut salad, Panzanella, or as Gino calls it the ‘ultimate’ tomato, pepper, artichoke and bread salad and a red pepper, Taleggio cheese and courgette salad. Of course, where Italian salad recipes are concerned, almost anything goes! Here are just two!


400g fine French beans
70g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
50g shelled walnuts
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
130g feta cheese
2 buffalo Mozzarella balls, drained and cut into chunks
salt and pepper

Trim 1⁄2cm from both ends of the beans, then cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes until al dente. Drain well and place in a large bowl.

Lightly toss the hot beans with the sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool.

Once the beans have cooled, crumble in the feta and gently mix in the Mozzarella. Serve immediately.

Once you’re done, simply sit back and enjoy your French beans with sun-dried tomatoes, feta and mozzarella



Serves Six
3 Oranges, preferably red or blood oranges)
1 Fennel bulb, cored & thinly sliced
1 Red onion, peeled & thinly sliced
30g Black olives, pitted & halved
2 Celery sticks, thinly sliced
30g Pine nuts
2 (around 200g in total) Smoked mackerel fillets, skinned
To taste Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Runny honey
6 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
To taste Salt

First peel and segment the oranges. Using a sharp knife, cut off about 1-2cm from the top and bottom of the fruit. Place the fruit on one of its flat ends and cut down to remove the skin and white pith. Rotate and repeat, working your way around the fruit until the flesh is completely exposed. 

Working over a large bowl, cut between the flesh and the white membrane to free the segments. Discard the membrane and put the segments into the bowl (the bowl should also catch the juice). 

Add the fennel, onion, olives, celery and pine nuts to the bowl with the orange segments and juice. Stir carefully to combine. 

To make the dressing, put the vinegar and honey in a small bowl. Gradually add the oil, whisking vigorously as you go, and season with salt. 

Pour the dressing over the salad (reserving 1 tablespoon for drizzling) and gently toss all the salad ingredients together. 

Break the mackerel into bite-sized pieces and scatter over the top of the salad. Sprinkle with black pepper and drizzle over the remaining dressing. 

Once you’re done, simply sit back and enjoy your smoked mackerel, orange & fennel salad. 

Some other Gino D'Acampo Recipes:
Pea, mint and cheddar frittata - see here
Sicilian style salmon with garlic mushrooms - see here
Tomato ragù, lovely with meatballs, or on grilled chicken or lamb - see here
Lemon Chicken - see here

Other recipe suggestions you may like: 
Tomato, Basil and Lemon Courgette / Zucchini Pasta : It's Low Carb : Vegan : Gluten-free - see here
Vittoria tomato tricolore salad, perfect for summer and it's LCHF - see here
Summer Tomato Pie, it's low carb - see here

Good Eating
Bon Appetit
Buon Appetito!

A variety of recipe ideas and articles are found within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

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