Chopped Italian salad

italchoppedsalad3

This is inspired by a heavenly salad I had at one of my favorite restaurants, Pizzeria Mozza. Here is my simplified, vegetarian (or vegan!) version. What do I love about this salad? The crispness of the iceberg lettuce and cucumbers. The vinegary bite of its dressing along with the purple onions and pepperoncinis. The hearty garbanzo beans and cheese (or soy cheeze, as the case may be). The aromatic oregano. I can go on, but you get the idea. Try it!

Pairs beautifully with pizza and pasta, though honestly if you want a light summer meal this could easily be your main course, especially if you include the veggie pepperoni. Serves 6.

Salad ingredients:

  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, chilled, washed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz size) of cooked garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 small purple onion, very finely sliced and then chopped
  • 1 Persian cucumber (or 1/2 of a hothouse cucumber), sliced
  • 1 medium sized ripe tomato, roughly chopped
  • 6 pickled pepperoncini peppers, thinly sliced (note: many commercial varieties have preservatives, read the label! I use Jeff’s Naturals brand)
  • 2 slices of provolone cheese, finely julienned (best flavor for this salad – I didn’t have it on hand today so I used 1/4 cup soy cheese shreds)
  • optional, but adds extra wonderful flavor: 8 pieces of veggie soy pepperoni, julienned

italchoppedsalad1

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (Trader Joe’s kalamata olive oil is my favorite)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Make the dressing in a small bowl, whisking ingredients together.

italchoppedsalad2

Let dressing sit while you assemble the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Chill covered in fridge up to 1 day in advance. Add dressing and toss just before serving. Buon appetito!

 

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