Truly the best Italian chopped salad recipe, with chopped fresh greens and veggies in a simple Italian vinaigrette. This salad is vegetarian and easily vegan. Recipe yields 6 to 8 side servings or 3 to 4 meal-sized servings (a lot). If you store the salad separately from the vinaigrette, it will keep well for up to 4 days.
10 ounces chopped romaine lettuce* (about 2 medium or 3 small heads, chopped)
1/2 medium head of radicchio*, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 medium red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/3 cup stemmed and thinly sliced pickled pepperoncini peppers
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup (4 ounces) 1/4″ cubes of provolone cheese (optional)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
10 twists freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes, for heat (optional)
In a large serving bowl, combine the chopped lettuce, radicchio, onion, celery, cherry tomatoes, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas and cheese (if using). Toss the ingredients together and set aside.
To prepare the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk until blended. Taste, and add more salt if the dressing doesn’t knock your socks off (I usually add one to two more pinches of salt).
If you’ll be serving all of the salad at once, go ahead and drizzle enough dressing in to lightly coat the salad and toss to combine. I prefer to store the salad and dressing separately so I can enjoy salad for a few days. Just whisk the dressing again before drizzling (if the olive oil solidifies a bit in the refrigerator, don’t worry, that’s normal—just let it warm up for about 5 minutes at room temperature or microwave for 10 to 20 seconds).
Recipe inspired by the chopped salad at 1889 Pizza and created with reference to Smitten Kitchen and The Kitchn. Make it dairy free/vegan: Omit the cheese! It’s still great without it. For a vegan dressing, substitute maple syrup for the honey. *Romaine and radicchio notes: If you want to make this salad in a hurry, just buy two bags of chopped romaine/radicchio mix, and chop it into even smaller, bite-sized pieces. Radicchio is very bitter and can be hard to find, but I thought it added something special to this salad. If you hate it/can’t find it, skip it. If you adore it, feel free to use the whole head.
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