I’m not quite sure why I call this Sicilian Salad. I guess because that’s what it says at the top of the recipe I keep in my computer. A recipe I copied from a note card I must have written in the 1990’s. I wish I’d kept the note card as opposed to transcribing all my stuff into computer files decades ago. I bet that note card had some clue as to why I call this particular type of salad a Sicilian Salad.
My guess is I had something similar in Sicily (the one time I went there in the 1980s). I know that’s not exactly definitive proof that this Sicilian Salad is at all typical of Sicily. But if it helps any I make this salad a lot and I always call it Sicilian Salad. Of course I make it different every time, because I imagine that’s how they’d do it in Sicily. Sometimes I use apples instead of grapes. Sometimes persimmons. Salads should be seasonal.
Almonds show up in my Sicilian Salad all the time. This time I used pine nuts because that’s what I had. Salads should be simple.
I usually use some sort of bitter green too, like escarole or treviso (I know treviso is red, but it’s still green to me. I also know Treviso is in Northern Italy– lighten up).
Lastly, I always use some other “heftier” cooked veggie as a base in this salad (like broccoli rabe or zucchini). Green beans show up a whole lot too. Well, in this case haricots vert. I know haricots vert are French (really you’re taking this Sicilian Salad moniker a little too literally).
The only other constant, and the reason I call this a Sicilian Salad, is the fried prosciutto ‘chips’ and the combination of dried fruit and nuts stirred into a very lemony dressing. Oh I can’t forget the rosemary. This is the only salad I ever bother with frying rosemary. I’m not sure why that’s so. I love fried rosemary.