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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Italian Chopped Salad

Sometimes you need a really hearty salad. Winter is an especially good time for this because all the ingredients are widely available all year long. 

This salad has everything: lettuce, cheese, meat, chickpeas, onions, peppers, and a dressing packed with oregano and garlic. It's a real treat. An excellent meal on its own or a great side dish with soup or a sandwich.  It will serve 4 as a meal or more as a side.

The recipe comes from Nancy's Chopped Salad in the Mozza cookbook, via Smitten Kitchen.

Here's what you need for this delicious salad.

For the dressing:
4 garlic cloves
1.5 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

For the salad:
1 large can chickpeas
1 small red onion
250 grams (1/2 pound) provolone, sliced thick
250 grams (1/2 pound) salami, sliced thick
pickled pepperoncini (small hot peppers) (optional, to taste)
1 container cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 medium head iceberg lettuce
1 small head radicchio

Chop the garlic then sprinkle the dried oregano, salt and pepper over it.


Keep chopping and mixing together until it forms a paste. Place the mixture in a large salad bowl and add the lemon juice and vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil until it forms a thick dressing.

Slice the onion, provolone and salami into ribbons. My salami and provolone were sliced thin at the deli, but it's better to have them sliced thicker to make more substantial ribbons.  Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the dressing in the salad bowl along with the salami, provolone, onions and pepperoncini if using. You can slice the peppers if you like, but I leave them whole so people can pick them out if they like. Gently toss it all together and set aside.

Chop the lettuce and radicchio and set it on top of the rest of the salad in the bowl. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add them as well if using.

Toss to combine the dressing and all the salad ingredients together.  

Serve as a main course on dinner plates or as a very hearty side dish.

This is a nice dinner all year round. Cool and refreshing in the summer but hearty and simple in the winter.  Enjoy!

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