Tricolore Salad Recipe

by vitus
Tricolore salad

Are you looking for a light, refreshing salad bursting with flavor? Look no further than the Tricolore Salad! This classic Italian dish is a feast for the eyes and the palate, featuring a beautiful combination of greens that reflects the colors of the Italian flag.

What Is Tricolore Salad?

Tricolore salad is a classic Italian salad known for its vibrant colors representing the Italian flag: green, white, and red.

Ingredients:

Salad Greens:

  • 4 cups arugula (peppery flavor, green)
  • 1/2 head radicchio, cored and chopped (slightly bitter, red)
  • 1 Belgian endive, halved, cored, and chopped (mild, white)

Cheese:

  • 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative)

Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Prep the Greens: Wash and dry all the greens. A salad spinner can help remove excess moisture.
  2. Chop the Greens: Arugula can be left whole or chopped roughly. Radicchio and endive should be chopped into thin strips or bite-sized pieces.
  3. Make the Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. You can emulsify the dressing by whisking vigorously or using a fork to create a smooth consistency.
  4. Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, combine the arugula, radicchio, and endive.
  5. Toss and Serve: Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to coat all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.
  6. Garnish: Top the salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Tips:

  • Freshness is Key: Use the freshest greens for the best flavor and texture.
  • Chill the Bowl: For an extra refreshing touch, chill your salad bowl before assembling the salad.
  • Dressing Variations: You can use a store-bought Italian vinaigrette if you prefer. For a sweeter dressing, try adding a touch of honey or maple syrup to the vinaigrette.
  • Add-Ins: For a more substantial salad, consider adding toasted pine nuts, sliced pears, or crumbled cooked chicken.
  • Storage: Leftover salad without dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day. However, the dressing will wilt the greens, so making the salad fresh is best.

What To Serve With

Italian Classics:

  • Grilled or Baked Proteins: Grilled chicken breast, salmon, or swordfish are excellent choices. You can also serve it with Italian sausage links, meatballs, or pan-seared shrimp.
  • Pastas: A simple pasta dish like cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) or aglio e olio (garlic and oil) is a perfect complement. Try a creamy pasta with pesto or a tomato-based sauce for a richer option.
  • Risotto: A creamy risotto with vegetables or seafood makes a luxurious accompaniment to the salad.
  • Bread: Crusty bread like focaccia or ciabatta is an excellent addition for scooping up any leftover dressing or enjoying alongside the salad.

Lighter Options:

  • Soup and Salad: Pair the Tricolore salad with a minestrone soup or chilled gazpacho for a light, refreshing lunch.
  • Sandwiches: The salad can be served alongside a panini, a grilled cheese, or a caprese sandwich (tomato, mozzarella, and basil) for a simple yet satisfying meal.
  • Appetizer Spread: If you’re planning an antipasti spread, the Tricolore salad adds color and freshness alongside cured meats, olives, and marinated vegetables.

Building A Full Italian Meal:

  • Start: Begin with the Tricolore salad as a light and refreshing starter.
  • Second Course: Follow with a main course like baked cod with lemon and herbs, chicken cacciatore, or lasagna.
  • Sides: Roasted vegetables, garlic bread, or a side of polenta would be delicious accompaniments.
  • Dessert: Finish the meal with a classic Italian dessert like tiramisu, panna cotta, or a simple plate of fresh fruit.

Health Benefits

  • Rich in Antioxidants: Tomatoes, especially when ripe and fresh, are packed with antioxidants like lycopene, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. These antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
  • Supports Heart Health: The combination of tomatoes and fresh basil provides potent nutrients that promote cardiovascular health. Tomatoes are rich in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, while basil contains compounds like eugenol that may support healthy blood vessel function.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and skin, while potassium helps regulate blood pressure and fluid balance. Mozzarella cheese adds calcium and protein to the salad, supporting bone health and muscle function.
  • Promotes Weight Management: The Tricolore Salad is low in calories but high in nutrients, making it an excellent choice for those looking to manage their weight. Combining fiber from tomatoes and mozzarella protein helps keep you full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of overeating.
  • Bone Health: Mozzarella cheese provides a good dose of calcium, crucial for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Basil also contains vitamin K, which plays a role in bone metabolism and may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improves Digestion: The fiber content in tomatoes and basil helps support healthy digestion by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Additionally, the water content in tomatoes contributes to overall hydration, which is essential for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Boosts Immunity: The vitamins and minerals in the Tricolore Salad, particularly vitamin C from tomatoes, help strengthen the immune system, making the body more resilient to infections and illnesses.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Basil contains essential oils such as eugenol, which can help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms of conditions like arthritis.
  • Hydration: Tomatoes are approximately 95% water, which makes them an excellent hydrating food choice. Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and well-being, as it supports numerous bodily functions, including temperature regulation, nutrient transport, and waste removal.

Final Thoughts

Tt’s clear that this dish is more than just a culinary creation; it’s a cultural icon that embodies the essence of Italian gastronomy. From its vibrant hues representing the colors of the Italian flag to its harmonious blend of flavors and textures, the Tricolore Salad is a celebration of simplicity, freshness, and tradition.

Tricolore Salad

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 458.2 calories 37 grams fat

Ingredients

Salad Greens:

  • 4 cups arugula (peppery flavor, green)
  • 1/2 head radicchio, cored and chopped (slightly bitter, red)
  • 1 Belgian endive, halved, cored, and chopped (mild, white)

Cheese: 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative) Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prep the Greens: Wash and dry all the greens. A salad spinner can help remove excess moisture.
  2. Chop the Greens: Arugula can be left whole or chopped roughly. Radicchio and endive should be chopped into thin strips or bite-sized pieces.
  3. Make the Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. You can emulsify the dressing by whisking vigorously or using a fork to create a smooth consistency.
  4. Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, combine the arugula, radicchio, and endive.
  5. Toss and Serve: Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to coat all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.
  6. Garnish: Top the salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

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