We’ve come a long way with salads. It used to be that we thought salads weren’t really a real meal, but that was just because we didn’t know how to make a truly great, jam-packed, flavorful salad that filled us up. Thankfully, we’ve since seen the error of our ways and now know that salads can be amazing and delicious and, dare we say, crave-worthy, it just all depends on what you put in them! Today, the salad we’re most excited about is this Italian chop chop salad – get ready for greatness.
This is not one of those salads that’s primarily lettuce with a couple bits of veggies or cheese…this salad is almost entirely comprised of “add-ins” that use the romaine as a vehicle for shoveling said extras into one’s mouth, the way it should be. What are these glorious bonus ingredients? Salami, pepperoni, provolone, parmesan, mozzarella, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and banana peppers. Can you say yum?? This is a behemoth of a salad, where every bite is chock-full of meats and cheeses, and the whole thing is so, so tasty!
Along with all the flavor from the main ingredients, we mixed together a simple, Italian vinaigrette that lets all the other fixins shine. Salad dressing can seem more complicated than it is, so let us break it down for you; making your own dressing is a breeze! Here, all you need is extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, than we added lots of dried basil and garlic powder, along with a pinch of brown sugar for a touch of sweetness, and that’s basically that!
Pour a little dressing over the salad to start, then save the remaining dressing for your family and friends to dress the rest of their salads themselves. We’ve gotten nothing but compliments on this – even the most ardent salad-haters will love this one!
Chop Chop Salad
Serves 6-8; 25 minutes
- 2 hearts of romaine, shredded or roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound salami, sliced and cut into small squares
- 1/2 pound pepperoni, diced into squares
- 1/2 pound provolone cheese, thinly sliced and cut into squares
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, cubed
- 1 (8 oz.) package marinated mini mozzarella balls
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and sliced into strips
- 1 cup sliced banana peppers or pepperoncini peppers
- 1 cup white onion, thinly sliced into strips
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar, optional
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- Prepare dressing first by whisking together red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, basil, brown sugar (if using), salt and pepper together in a measuring cup or spouted bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
- Place chopped romaine, salami, pepperoni, provolone, parmesan, mozzarella, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and banana peppers in a large bowl.
- Drizzle 3/4 cup dressing over the top then toss together and let sit at least 20 minutes before serving, giving flavors a chance to build and blend together. Reserve remaining dressing for guests to serve themselves.
Recipe adapted from The Tipsy Housewife