I’m basically always game for an Italian chopped salad. Is it authentic Italian food? Not at all. But is it filled with ingredients common in Italian cooking? It is. Is it simultaneously refreshing, hearty, and packed with flavor? Yes. Will you love it? You bet your sweet bippy you will. (Shout out to Mrs. Nejman, one of the greatest teachers in the land for making sure all her 9th grade students understood world cultures, effective note taking, and the meaning of “you bet your sweet bippy.”)
This time of year I’m always torn between cold weather comfort food and the brighter, fresher fare of spring and summer. With this Italian chopped salad, you get the best of both worlds. You’ve got the salty bite of salami and wonderful texture of chickpeas and fresh mozzarella. You’ve also got crisp cucumber, silky roasted red pepper, and fresh, sweet tomatoes. Toss all of that in a gloriously flavorful and light red wine vinaigrette and you’ve really got a winner.
If you’re into big, hearty salads that don’t weigh you down, you’ll want to check out these other Apple a Day favorites.
- roasted carrot and cauliflower salad
- Stetson chopped salad
- grilled salmon salad with blackberry vinaigrette and goat cheese
This salad also holds up for lunches for a couple of days. Romaine doesn’t hold up well once it’s dressed, so just make sure don’t dress the salad until you’re ready to eat. Man, two of my favorite things–an Italian chopped salad and tasty leftovers all packed up for tomorrow’s lunch. We’re winning over here, folks. You bet your sweet bippy we are.
With salami, mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, artichokes, and red peppers tossed in a red wine vinaigrette, you’ll want this Italian chopped salad on repeat.
Italian Chopped Salad
adapted from All the Healthy Things
For the dressing:
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
salt and pepper, to taste
For the salad:
6 c. chopped romaine lettuce
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 c. roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 c. sliced pepperoncini
1/2 c. kalamata olive
1/2 c. marinated artichoke hearts
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. diced English cucumber
1/3 c. thinly sliced red onion
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
4 oz. salami, sliced into ribbons
1/2 c. mozzarella balls, halved
red pepper flakes, for serving
- To make the dressing, pour all ingredients in a tightly sealed jar and shake to combine.
- Assemble the salad. Put the lettuce into a large serving bowl and arrange the remaining ingredients on top, as desired.
- Before serving, toss the salad with about half of the dressing. Distribute to individual serving bowls and add more dressing and red pepper flakes, if desired.
yield: 4 main course or 6 side servings