The origins of this Neapolitan salad go back to the 17th century. Its curious name derives from its role as a reinforcement to the lean meal since meat could not be eaten on Christmas Eve. It is also believed that this salad will aid digestion.
1 med cauliflower, broken into florets
1 C. wine vinegar
1/2 C OO
S & P
5 oz. peppers in vinegar, cut in 1/2 in strips
2 T. capers, drained
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/3 C. gherkins, thinly sliced
1/3 C. green olives, pitted
1/3 C. Gaeta olives, pitted
8 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped or left whole, plus 2 fillets for garnish
2 T. parsley, coarsely chopped
Cut cauliflower into florets, cook until al dente in salted boiling water. Drain, cool and put it into a large salad bowl.
Add the peppers, capers, garlic, gherkins, olives, anchovies, and parsley to the salad bowl.
Whisk the OO and vinegar together with a pinch of S & P and pour the dressing over the cauliflower. Mix thoroughly, tossing gently.
Garnish with 2 anchovies, crossed over the center of the dish.
This dish can be prepared in advance and refrigerated, but bring it to room temperature before serving.