I was tasked with bringing an Italian chopped salad to our family’s fourth of July cookout, so I searched around on Google for a vegan version of the recipe and (mostly arbitrarily, to tell the truth) picked one from the website cookieandkate.com. I made some adjustments of my own and I really like it! It’s easy and fast to put together and a great salad to bring to a cookout or pot-luck.
When I first posted this recipe I hadn’t yet tried out the dressing, but I’ve made it a couple times now and it’s a good fit for this salad. It doesn’t mix well (you have to shake the bottle and pour carefully, otherwise all the spices come out in a big clump all at once), but it helps a lot if you shake it up before pouring it out. I wouldn’t recommend using too much of the dressing since it’s a bit on the acidic side, but the flavor does pair well with the pepperoncinis and chickpeas.
Servings: as an entree maybe 3-4 or more, depending on the sizes of your bowls? as a side, 6-8ish people
- about 2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped (depending on the size of the heads, you may only want to use 1 large head of romaine)
- ½ medium red onion, diced (approx. 1 cup)
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- about ½ to ¾ pint cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced (quartered is good, but at least halved)
- ½ cup, or a bit less, thinly sliced pickled pepperoncini peppers
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- about half a large cucumber, sliced into coins (and halved or quartered if you don’t want large cucumber slices)
- ½ cup shredded carrots, or one big carrot finely chopped or cut into thin coins
- Optional: ½ medium head of radicchio, finely chopped (gives a slightly bitter taste)
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar (or slightly less if you want it less acidic; replace the amount with water)
- 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. agave nectar
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 10 twists freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. sea salt, more to taste
- Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes, for heat
- Note: Adjust flavors as you wish, adding more or less, to create a dressing flavor you like best. Personally, I like this dressing with a little more Dijon mustard, a little more oregano, and no salt.
Do you really need directions to make a salad? Chop everything up and throw it in a bowl. There. Now you know how to make a salad.
If you’re making the dressing, just whisk it together and pour on however much you want. Done!
P.S. I am not going to apologize for how bad my salad picture is. I have never professed to posting great pictures on my blog, and I’m probably never going to. Deal with my crappy salad picture! If you want to see a pretty salad, go look at the website I got the recipe from!