It feels so good to write today. It’s been a busy few weeks and I’ve missed writing and posting recipes and all the deliciousness that comes with blogging. I miss reading the comments and responding – and feeling like I have my very own secret food club of sorts. 😉
So, today I’m back on the blog sharing one of the many salads I make for my family. The Italian Chopped Salad.
I first developed this Italian Chopped Salad for the lovely professionals at Home By Design Magazine. It was published last year and although I’ve always meant to post it here, I think I forgot about it. Until I made it just last week for the Bennett Crew.
This salad is everything a salad wants to be. Crunchy, crispy, spicy and flavorful, loaded with fresh romaine and radicchio for a lovely blend of greens and tossed with Italian salami, pepperocini’s, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and mozzarella or smoked provolone. If I’ve got a few extra ingredients hanging around in the fridge just waiting to be used, I’ll toss those in too.
A chopped salad is a salad in which all ingredients are fairly uniformly chopped. Which makes the salad easy to dress and easy to eat. There’s no need to use a knife to cut smaller bite sized pieces of lettuce greens or other veggies. Just a lovely dish of evenly chopped vegetables dressed and ready to eat. Chopped salads were über trendy a few years ago. However, in my salad book, chopped salads have been in style for a very long time and I don’t see them trending down anytime soon.
This Italian Chopped Salad is the perfect spring or summer entrée and it makes a festive side dish to homemade pizza or an Italian pork roast. It’s one of those salads that is so completely lovely on a warm evening when dinner is served al fresco and the wine flows freely. Can you tell I’m in summer mode? Even though the temps are back down to the high 60’s here, my summer heart (and palate) moves on.
Cheers to the approaching warm weather, dinners on the patio, sunsets, chilled wine and Italian Chopped Salad!
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 romaine hearts, chopped
- 1 head radicchio, chopped
- 6-8 ounces Italian dry salami, chopped or sliced
- 8 ounces whole milk mozzarella, diced or the small bite sized Mozzarella balls called Ciliegine (you can also use 8 ounces smoked provolone, diced)
- ½ cup pepperoncini peppers, stemmed and chopped
- ½ - ¾ cup seedless kalamata olives, halved
- ½ - 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup diced or thinly sliced red onion
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn or sliced chiffonade
- ½ cup diced cucumber (optional)
- ½ cup diced marinated artichokes (optional)
Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl gently toss together all the remaining ingredients. Just before serving, dress the salad with half of the vinaigrette, using more if needed. Lastly, season with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.