LUCALI SALAD, RECIPE BY MARK IACONO, PUBLISHED IN NYTIMES
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SALAD:
5 smallish tomatoes, halved and cut into fifths
½ smallish red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 rib celery with leaves, ideally from the heart, chopped
18 canned, pitted black olives, plus 2 tablespoons olive brine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
⅓ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
1 head iceberg lettuce, outer leaves and brown bits removed, roughly torn
FOR THE DRESSING:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup red-wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
Combine the tomatoes, red onion and celery in a large bowl. Add the olives, bruising each slightly between finger and thumb, and the olive brine.
Add the salt, peppers, olive oil and red-wine vinegar to the bowl, and mix gently with your hands or a wooden spoon. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Wash and dry the lettuce, then put in a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the salad.
Make the dressing. There will be a lot left over, which you can cover and store in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks. Combine the olive oil, red-wine vinegar, salt, black pepper and lemon pepper in a jar or large bowl. Cover the jar, and shake until emulsified, or use a whisk to achieve the same result in the bowl. Set aside.
Assemble the salad. Spoon onto a large platter enough of the tomato mixture and accumulated juices to cover its bottom. Arrange some of the iceberg across the top of the tomatoes, and drizzle a little dressing over it. Add some more of the tomato mixture, then another round of the iceberg. Drizzle with some more of the dressing, and then repeat. Serve immediately, so the lettuce does not wilt, either with Italian bread or topped with meatballs, perhaps alongside spaghetti or pizza.
COMMENTS: Use canned cheap olives…not fancy or they will overwhelm the salad
COMMENTS: I too reverse the oil to vinegar ratio. Less greasy, more tart & acidic which really works well with the tomatoes. It may be sacralidges but I also include some very thinly sliced cucumber slices instead of celery. If I use celery I always shave it first to make it less thready.