November 19, 2012

Italian Chopped Salad

It turns out that last month wasn't my last Secret Recipe Club post. Seems I was a month ahead of myself, which in my crazy, hectic life never happens.

B.K. (before kids) I was an on-the-ball kinda gal. I mean, I never forgot things, or misplaced things. I managed to remember to comb AND style my hair each morning. Really, I was pretty amazing. 

Now, not so much. Now, there are days when I never brush my hair, forget my sweet friend's birthday and simply not show up to some place where I'm supposed to be! *Gasp* I have become one of those people. 

I used to think my life was busy when I had a career, while rehabbing a house, volunteer work, bible study group, and dating. Ha!

Silly me. Now I now the define the word busy.

For those of you out there without kids, have pity on people like me. Know that we are still in there somewhere and will (hopefully) re-emerge when the college years are upon us.

My scattered brain managed to produce another Secret Recipe Club treasure in time for today's deadline. I'm very proud not to have dropped this ball. I have unearthed a delicious chopped salad recipe. This one is very Italian and very delicious. (Sandy, you would even appreciate it.) It comes by way of Authentic Suburban Gourmet.

Lisa blogs from the sunny San Francisco Bay Area. She has a ton of delicious recipes, but what I was really intrigued about was her photography. Either she has subbed out the photography to a pro, been replaced by an alien expert photographer, or worked her tail off learning how to take better photos. I'm not sure which, but it is incredible to see the transformation of the photos on her blog. Just search "chopped salad" and you'll see some examples of what light can do for a photo. Not to mention her food styling. Her stuff just looks beautiful. Lisa blogs exemplifies how we can each improve our skills. Maybe there is hope for my mommy's brain after all.

This chopped salad recipe is from “The Mozza Cookbook” from famed chef, restaurateur and cookbook author, Nancy Silverton. I made a few changes like adding black olives and purple cabbage (because it is so much cheaper than radicchio). Be sure to check out Lisa's recipe if you like detailed instructions. And she has those beautiful photos to go with it.

The key on a chopped salad is to chop most everything in uniform sizes. That way you get a little of everything on your fork at the same time. Delicious!

Italian Chopped Salad
from Authentic Suburban Gourmet

1/2 sm red onion, chopped
1/2 sm head iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped
1 sm head purple cabbage, cored and chopped
1 pint sm sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1⁄2 c garbanzo beans
1 c chopped black olives
4 oz aged provolone, chopped into sm pieces
4 oz salami, chopped into sm pieces
1/4 c banana peppers, chopped
2 tsp salt
1⁄2 c oregano vinaigrette
1⁄2 lemon juiced, plus more to taste
toasted pine nuts (see note at bottom)

Combine the onion, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, olives, provolone, salami, and pepperoncini in a large, wide bowl. Season with salt and toss to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and squeeze the lemon juice over the salad, then toss gently to coat the salad with the dressing. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, lemon juice or vinaigrette if desired. Pile the salad on a large platter or divide it among individual plates, piling it like a mountain.

Oregano vinaigrette
2 1⁄2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
2 garlic cloves, 1 smashed and 1 grated or minced
1⁄2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 1⁄2 c extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake vigorously. Use the vinaigrette or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to three days. Bring the vinaigrette to room temperature, whisk to recombine the ingredients, and taste again for seasoning before using.

UPDATE: I actually tried this salad withOUT the lettuce and it was amazing that way and keeps longer since there is no lettuce to wilt. The general consenses was that it would make an amazing pasta salad! And toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top, take this dish to the next level.


  1. Loooooove garbanzo beans in a salad! MANGIA!!!

  2. Happy reveal day! Thank you for the kind words and glad that you found this recipe - it is a winner!! I have been diligently working on improving my photography over the years. The early years produced dreadful photos. Smile. I still have a ways to go, but it is a fun process to continue to learn and push myself. Hope you and your beautiful family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day Holiday!!!

  3. Thank you for making this last SRC! You chose well! I love a good salad like this! Garbanzo's are my favorite to put in salads!!

  4. Now this looks like my kind of salad! I love all the ingredients and it looks so flavorful and filling :)

  5. There is nothing that I don't like about this salad. And it's so colorful.

  6. Yum! Beautiful picture :)

  7. Glad to have you back one more time. This salad looks delicious and I will probably make that dressing soon.


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