At the farmers’ market, choose a mix of young, firm, spicy greens that will hold up to the warm vinaigrette in this salad. The cheese I like for this recipe is called Panela—a Mexican cheese that won’t melt when you fry it. You can find it in Hispanic markets, but Mexican queso blanco, another firm, fresh cow’s milk cheese that also holds its shape when fried, is more widely available in U.S. grocery stores. If you can’t find either, use fresh mozzarella (drained well and patted dry) or even Muenster.
I’ve been making this recipe for nineteen years now. It is extraordinary. Changes? I use shrink-wrapped mozzarella. I don’t use the olives, because they interfere with the delicate flavors of the finished dish. Herbs are nice, but not necessary. A long mise en place, but worth it. Hard to express how much we love this.
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