Daughter Miriam asked for Spanish tri-tip for her birthday dinner. Miriam had also requested a vegetable forward salad. Looking for Spanish style salads, I found Williams Sonoma ensalada mixta. The recipes I found online for this mixed salad included more protein than my last ensalada mixta.
Karl’s Spanish Ensalada Mixta
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Pinch black pepper, fresh cracked
Pinch Kosher salt
Small pinch dry yellow mustard
3 eggs, hard boiled, cut into quarters lengthwise
½ red onion (optional)
4 thin slices serrano ham
2 olive oil–packed anchovy fillets, divided into quarters
16 oil-cured black olives
1. Put all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a small lidded jar.
2. Seal jar tightly and shake to combine.
Tip: The dry mustard acts as an emulsifier that helps prevent the oil and vinegar from separating.
Note: Let the dressing meld for 20-30 minutes, re-shaking to keep the ingredients emulsified.
3. Put a wire rack in a small pan and add enough water to come up to the rack.
4. Bring the water to a boil and add the eggs.
5. Cover the pot and steam the eggs for 14-16 minutes.
Tip: This gives you perfectly hard boiled eggs—with the yolks fully set, but without a grey ring
Note: Boiling eggs in the water can give you unevenly cooked eggs. By steaming the eggs, they are surrounded by steam at an even temperature—212º F at sea level, when you put a loose lid on the pot it will raise that temperature by a few degrees.
6. Rinse the eggs in cold water and then put them into a bowl of ice water to cool completely.
Tip: By quickly cooling the eggs, the egg white shrinks and pulls away from the membrane just under the shell, making them much easier to peel.
7. Refrigerate the eggs for 30 minutes.
Note: Chilling the eggs completely allows the egg white to firm up and reduces the chance of bits of the white sticking to the membrane—creating ugly, pockmarked eggs.
8. Remove the egg shells under a stream of running water.
9. Slice the eggs—along the long axis—into quarters and set them aside.
10. Tear the lettuces torn into bite sized pieces and place them in a salad bowl.
Note: I had intended to use escarole and chicory, but I was not able to find them locally—even at my usual high end stores.
11. Slice the tomatoes into small wedges and add them to the bowl.
12. Seed the bell pepper, cut into narrow strips, and add them to the bowl.
Tip: If using onion slice it into thin rings and add them to the bowl now.
Note: Daughter Miriam is “off” onions and I am leaving it out.
13. Slice the cucumber into round slices and add them to the bowl.
14. Gently toss the salad to mix the ingredients.
Tip: My family prefers to control the amount of dressing on their salads, so I always serve it on the side.
Note: This also allows me to make a decorative salad—by arranging the “tasty bits” artistically over the greens.
15. Arrange that some of the tomatoes and peppers end up on top of the lettuce.
16. Tear the serrano ham into pieces and scatter them over the salad.
17. Arrange the egg slices over the salad.
18. Drain the anchovies and divide them into 4 strips each.
Tip: Slice the fillets lengthwise and then crosscut the strips in half.
19. Scatter the anchovies over the salad.
20. Scatter the olives over the salad,
21. Serve with the vinaigrette on the side.