Reinforcement salad. Flavors, history and meaning

Insalata di rinforzo

The recipes of traditional Neapolitan cuisine.

Two schools of thought on the most reliable meaning of “reinforcement” attributed to this salad. The first is the one dictated by common practice to put it on the center of the table throughout the whole festive period, because being composed of different ingredients can be renewed, “reinforced”, with new ingredients or adding those previously consumed. Another meaning, however, sees it linked to the Christmas ritual dishes, pasta and some fish. Composing the latter a light meal, serve this salad to give consistency and strong flavors to a dinner of leanbasis. Proof of the latter interpretation is written by Cavalcanti in his book dedicated to cuisine.

Ingredients (for 4 people):

1 medium-sized cauliflower
100 g black olives from Gaeta
100 g green olives
100 gr papaccelle
50 g salted capers
100 g mixed pickles
10 salted anchovies
100 g eggplant in olive oil
Olive oil
Vinegar for salads

Making of recipe.

Boil the cauliflower in salted water after chopping it into many small parts. Becareful not to make it too soft or it will flakes apart. It must remain sufficiently hard. Drain and allow to cool, preferably in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, cut the papaccelle to strips. Once cauliflower cooled down, mix it carefully together with all components, but beware of not reducing it to mush cabbage. Drizzle with oil and vinegar to taste. Check the salting. The salad is ready. Keep it in the fridge every day that is not completely consumed and always serve cold.