Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ribollita Salad

I love Ribollita, the hearty (and frugal) Italian soup.  The soup that makes use of yesterdays bread and whatever is in the garden and pantry.  It's my kind of cooking.  And while I love a big, deep bowl of hot, fortifying soup, a salad of this magnitude is certainly welcome on my table on these chilly evenings.  As the winter weather rolls in and my basil is on its last legs and my cavolo nero is going through the roof, it's time to put these homegrown treasures to good use, as any good Italian mama would... not that I'm Italian, unfortunately.

Ribollita Salad
adapted from here
Serves 4

For the Basil Cream:
150g sour cream
1/2 cup basil leaves
50g parmesan, finely grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad:
4 thick slices of sourdough, crusts removed and roughly torn
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes 
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
100g semi-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 big bunches of cavolo nero, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 x 400g can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
50g parmesan, finely grated
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn

Make the Basil Cream:
Put all the ingredients for the basil cream into a blender and blitz until smooth.  Set aside to chill in the refrigerator until ready to dress the salad.

Make the Salad:
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Put the bread onto a baking tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat the bread in the oil and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil to a large frying pan and heat over medium heat.  Add the garlic and the semi-dried tomatoes and toss for about a minute. Add the cavolo nero and some salt and pepper and fry for about 5 - 7 minutes or until the leaves are wilted and tender.

Put the cavolo nero onto a large bowl add the fresh cherry tomatoes, toasted sourdough and borlotti beans.  Spoon over the basil cream and toss everything together.

Tip the salad out onto a large serving platter and sprinkle with grated parmesan and torn basil leaves.


  1. This is beautiful. Loving the basil cream, I could eat that just by itself!

    1. Thanks Tania. That cream is so delicious.

  2. Hi there, this is great. I hope you bring it over to Food on Friday as part of Pot Luck. You'll find a link towards the top of my sidebar. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  3. I think there's a little Italian in all of us, right ;)
    I love that you have turned one of my favourite classic Italian soups into a salad! Bring on the hearty winter salad, it's just what I need on these dark chilly nights!

    1. I think you're right Amy. I pretend I'm Italian when I cook and eat Italian food, go to an Italian restaurant or cafe, drink coffee and drive my (Italian) car. I've got myself fooled, even if no one else is convinced.