I have no idea if this salad is Italian or not, but I felt Italian when I was eating it so I’m calling it Italian.
The recipe popped up on Cup of Jo recently. Apparently it’s been around for a long time, but I had no idea so: new to me! It’s not a throw-together salad — I had to go shopping for half the ingredients (radicchio, iceberg, pepperoncini, Genoa salami, provolone, red onion, cherry tomatoes) — but it’s a fun one, and it feeds a crowd.
The family actually wasn’t that keen on it — maybe because it was the main course and they were hoping for more? Needy eaters, sheesh — but with a glass of red wine and some sourdough, I thought it made a fabulous complete meal. I ate myself silly.
I wasn’t sure how the leftovers would hold up — and we had a lot leftover — but I needn’t have worried. In the fridge, everything softened and melded together, making it an altogether different dish. For my lunches this week, I’ve been griddling a piece of sourdough bread to go with my big bowl of salad. I use the toast as a shovel and juice sopper-upper and then, since there’s always a good puddle at the end, I tip the bowl into my mouth and slurp up the rest.
I think the day-(or three)-old salad would make a great sandwich filling. I’d use a soft Italian bread, the center plucked out to make a bread canoe, and then stuffed full of juicy, salty, tangy salad, mmmm. It’d also go good, I think, piled in a grilled cheese or stuffed into a wrap.
And as for the little bit of dressing that was left over? I added it to the beef veggie soup I made last night. The acidic, herby, garlicky dressing gave the soup an excellent little flavor kick. It’d also be good in tomato soup, scrambled eggs, and drizzled over roasted veggies. In other words, too much dressing is not a thing.
Italian Chopped Salad
Adapted from Nancy Silverton’s recipe on Food52.
for the salad:
1-2 heads radicchio, chopped
1 head iceberg, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved and lightly salted
¼ pound provolone, cut into matchsticks
¼ pound Genoa salami, cut into matchsticks
½ red onion, the layers separated and then cut in thin strips and soaked in cold water
5-8 pepperoncini, cut into rings
juice of half a lemon
Pile everything into a large bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice.
for the dressing:
2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
½ – 1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ cups olive oil
Stir together the vinegar, oregano, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Drizzle over the salad and toss to combine.
To finish the salad, sprinkle with more salt, pepper, and dried oregano, and another generous spritz of lemon juice, as desired.