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Insalata Pantesca

Pragmatic recipe
insalata Pantesca, a Sicilian Salad

Pantesca pazzesca

Pantesca as in coming from Pantelleria, an island between Sicily and North Africa. Though surrounded by water – as it goes with islands – this recipe does not contain fish. People from Pantelleria prefer farming over fishing. They produce an excellent passito wine. Capers and oregano grow profusely. Farmland is walled to protect the soil from strong and frequent wind. 

This Sicilian island enchants many. It is a place many consider an earthly paradise. Specially when they had the chance to have insalata Pantesca, sitting a summer breeze, overlooking the island. And drooling already…

  • Prep Time 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time 30 Minutes
  • Total Time 40 Minutes
  • Serves 4 People
  • Calories 250 kcal


  • 4 potatoes
  • 10 -15 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 12 olives
  • 2 spoons of desalted capers
  • oregano and thyme
  • vinegar
  • olive oil


  1. Boil the potatoes , peel on, and let them cool down
  2. Slice the onion and sprinkle with salt
  3. Peel the potatoes
  4. Dice the tomatoes and potatoes
  5. Remove the liquid the onion
  6. Add the olives and capers
  7. Add the vinegar and mix
  8. Dust the dish dried oregano and thyme


Insalata Pantesca requires fine ingredients. Because every single ingredient contributes to the outcome. Use fresh seasonable tomatoes rather than tasteless alternatives. Vinegar is an important ingredient in this dish. A light wine or apple vinegar are advisable. Use salted capers rather than the brined ones. But don't forget to de-salt them. By simple soaking them in fresh water for about an hour. Adding capers coming from Pantelleria would, of course, be ideal.Insalata Pantesca needs time to settle. At least a couple of hours. Leave it sitting in the fridge and be happy. Serve as a side salad or with bread a whole meal. An ideal salad to bring to work or school. Whereas oregano is by far the dominant herb in this dish, thyme and mint complete the dish. An excellent match for a Sicilian Nero d'Avola wine.

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