What’s for Dinner: Roman Summer Salad - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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What’s for Dinner: Roman Summer Salad


Roman Summer Salad

by Minimally Invasive, adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Serves 4

Roman… summer… salad… how could I NOT post this recipe? If you like big bold flavors, this is a salad for you. It’s great for dinner alongside a piece of grilled meat, and works well to take to a potluck. I hope your kids will try this if you tell them it’s “Roman.” Maybe it’s not from ancient Rome, but it’s still a fun way to connect history, geography and food! If you don’t have (or like) anchovies, make this anyway without them.


1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup pitted green and black olives, halved

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

3 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

8 fresh basil leaves, shredded

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes) or cherry tomatoes

chopped fresh spinach


Cook the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until thick, syrupy, and measuring 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

Combine the olives, parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, basil, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl and toss to combine. 

To serve, slice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds and place, slightly overlapping, on a bed of chopped spinach on a serving plate (or cut cherry tomatoes in halves or quarters and distribute over the spinach). Spoon the olive and parsley mixture over the tomatoes. Drizzle the reduced balsamic over the salad and serve.

Click here for a printable PDF of this recipe.

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