Insalata di Rinforzo is a tasty and simple Neapolitan Cauliflower Salad. It is typically prepared in Naples for the Christmas festivities, which span from December 24 (Christmas Eve) to January 6 (the Epiphany). The name means “reinforced salad” because it can be prepared for the Christmas Eve Dinner and then “reinforced” by adding more ingredients to last until January.
1 head (2 lb – 900 g) cauliflower
1 curly escarole, chopped in large pieces
3 oz (100 g) black olives
3 oz (100 g) green olives
3 oz (100 g) giardiniera mix, drained
3 oz (100 g) roasted bell peppers in jar, drained
6 anchovy fillets
3 oz (100 g) capers
3 oz (100 g) stale crusty bread, diced and lightly toasted
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vinegar (depending on strength)
salt and pepper
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced (optional)
Clean and boil the cauliflower as indicated in the recipe for Cauliflowers Gratin.
Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl.
Add the escarole. .
olives, giardiniera, bell peppers .
anchovy fillets, capers,
. toasted bread dice.
olive oil, vinegar, salt and
*** NOTE ***
This salad should be decorated with the “Taralli,” Neapolitan savory fennel cookies. They are difficult to find even in Naples, therefore we substituted them with bread croutons. You can season the bread with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic if you like, before adding it to the salad.
Toss the salad to combine the ingredients and decorate with the egg slices.
Prepare the salad ahead of time if you like and keep it refrigerated. Refrigerate leftovers and add more ingredients and seasoning before serving.