Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Revised Recipe: Nancy's Chopped Salad

I made Nancy's Chopped Salad last night and it was delicious. I made a few minor changes to the quantities. I can't wait to make this again.

I made a special trip to DeLaurenti at Pike Place to get my favorite salami: Fra' Mani's Salame Nostrano. I'm sure the salad would be great with any salami, but if you have access, get that or another specialty salami.

I also bought an aged Italian Provolone but ended up liking the Organic Valley Provolone slices better. The Italian version was a bit spicy and the slices were creamy and mild.

My version made enough for three adults (with enough for everyone to have seconds). The salad is hearty so it's perfect paired with soup or a light entree.

Oregano dressing

4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Roughly chop the garlic and then add the oregano, salt and pepper. Chop the mixture together and use the side of a knife or a mortar and pestle to make a grainy herb paste.

2. Transfer the paste to a large salad bowl, and add the lemon juice and vinegar. Mix with a fork, allowing the salt to dissolve, then add the oil and whisk with a fork until well combined. The dressing should be thick with garlic and oregano.

Salad and Assembly

1 1/2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 - 1/2 red onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced paper thin
4-6oz provolone, sliced 1/4 -inch thick then cut into 1/2 -inch ribbons
1/3 pound salami, sliced 1/4 -inch thick then cut into 1/2 -inch ribbons
5-8 pepperoncinis, sliced into rings
1/2 - 1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored, and cut in ribbons 1/4 - to 1/2 -inch wide
1/2 head radicchio, cored and cut in ribbons 1/4 - to 1/2 -inch wide
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Dried oregano for garnish (optional, preferably Sicilian or Turkish)

1. Gently fold the chickpeas, red onion, provolone, salami, pepperoncini (including seeds and juice) into the dressing, one at a time. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise and season with salt. Set aside until ready to serve.

2. When ready to serve, gently add the tomatoes, lettuce and radicchio to the salad bowl, along with a couple of generous pinches of oregano, and toss to combine with the dressing. Serve immediately.


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