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Rustic Italian Salad

What you need: 

3 cloves of roasted garlic (recipe follows) (1 clove of raw minced garlic can be substituted in a raw diet).
1/2 cup olive oil (+ 1 tablespoon to roast garlic)
small bunch of fresh basil
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped (raw, sprouted almonds, hazelnuts, or pine nuts may be substituted for a raw diet).
2 large, very ripe tomatoes sliced thinly.
1 avocado- sliced thinly, (optional)
Raw zucchini- peeled into thin, pasta-like strips with a vegetable peeler (optional)
Raw/Roasted peppers (throw peppers onto your oven racks @ about 400F until skins are black. Run pepper under cold water to remove peel. De-seed and slice thinly) (optional)
Olives (optional)
Red Chilies (de-seed and finely mince) (optional)
vegan parmesan (optional)
Roasted eggplant (optional)

What you do: 

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
First, you must roast your garlic:
Heat the oven to 400F. Cut the top and bottom off of the head of garlic and place in a square of foil or a small baking dish. Pour the tablespoon of olive oil over the garlic, and bake for about 15 minutes, or as soon as the garlic is squishy and a deep golden color. Drain the oil, as it can tend to have a burnt flavor.
You only need 3 cloves for this recipe, but you can store the rest in a small jar in the fridge. Just squeeze the entire inner contents into the jar (throw away garlic peel) and cover with fresh oil. The garlic will last about a week in the fridge. Roasted garlic is great on pasta, in sauces/dips, or just spread on a nice piece of toast.
Now, onto the salad:
First, mash your garlic into a cup with the salt and pepper, until it is a semi-fine paste. Pour the olive oil to the cup, and give it a good stir.
Take a large, empty plate and pour half of the dressing on it. Swirl it around until the bottom of the plate has been covered.
Tear the basil leaves off of the stems and scatter on top of the dressing on the plate (a side note- you can put the basil stems into your jar of remaining roasted garlic for a wonderful flavor). Toss sliced tomatoes over the basil, then sprinkle nuts over the salad (and any other optional ingredients).
Lastly, drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad, and serve at room temperature.
The main thing with this salad is to keep it rustic....You don't have to be too exact.
Who says vegans can't be gourmet?

Preparation Time: 
10 mins
Cooking Time: 


Well, this looked good in writing, but making it was a bit of a different story. I made it with all of the optional ingredients (roasted eggplants, roasted pepper, olives, zucchini, avocado, etc) and the finished salad looked rather unappetising. I forced myself to eat a few bites but the texture was soft and slimy and even the occasional crunchy bites of pine nut couldn't overcome the sliminess. I think that this salad has potential but that it should be kept simpler...if I were to make it again, I might use only tomatos, basil, olive oil, and roasted garlic. And MAYBE a few olives.


My husband and I loved this recipe!  We used the olives, avocado, and roasted eggplant, red pepper, and zucchini.  Added grilled green onions too, which was nice.  Next time, we’ll add grilled asparagus.  Thank you for posting.

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