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Author Notes: My modified version of a favorite recipe from a cookbook by Bar Tartine. —cucina di mammina
Makes 1 large salad platter
- 1 - 16 oz 16 oz. container small curd 4% milk fat cottage cheese
- shaved fresh italian parmigiano or italian hard cheese (if desired)
- farmer’s market-style fresh spring greens mix
- mini red, yellow and orange sweet baby peppers(de-seeded and sliced into bite size pieces)
- small white button mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed, sliced thinly
- small fresh baby cukes or use English cucumbers (least amount of seeds here, trim and sliced into angled chunks)
- 4 large organic eggs (hard boiled to your liking) at room temperature, peeled and sliced into quarters
- very ripe vine tomatoes, washed and sliced into small wedges (farmer’s market-style preferred–I love a combination of varieties like ugly tomatoes, yellow, red and watermelon striped)
- fresh garlic cloves
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- dry mustard (1 tsp. or more to taste)
- Additions and other combinations: spring onions or scallions, sweet pea pods, sweet baby fresh peas, heart of palms (sliced), small baby potatoes (skin on) boiled, cooled and sliced thinly
- Using a large, deep bowl take your peeled garlic clove and cut it in half and rub the entire inside of the bowl with the garlic to add intense flavor and aroma. Discard the sliced cloves when done.
- In this same large deep bowl, combine the mixed sweet peppers, sliced fresh mushrooms and cukes (add any other of your fresh additions at this point in time.)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, add a teaspoon or more of dry mustard powder (to taste) and drizzle well with olive oil and bold dashes of red wine vinegar.
- Gently mix all well here to combine the flavors. In a large flat serving platter, spoon the cottage cheese to from a base for the salad along the entire bottom of the platter.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. In a different bowl, add the mixed salad greens and dress with the olive oil red wine vinegar and some additional dry mustard powder to taste (you can season this bowl with more fresh garlic to add more flavor as well!)
- Slowly place the dressed cut up vegetables in a balanced fashion onto the top of the cottage cheese layer until all are placed.
- Add the sliced eggs and season them well with salt and pepper. Lastly, add the mixed dressed salad greens in the center in a large pile.
- Drizzle the whole plate with additional olive oil and one last healthy dose of red wine vinegar and serve immediately. You can scatter shaved paper-thin slices of hard Italian cheese if desired.
- NOTE: I love this as it is for a late summer meal; you can also serve this with grilled fish or chicken and rustic toasted breads like ciabatta and three cheese semolina pane.