Chopped salad take me back to the 60’s to steak houses and iceberg lettuce. Most chopped salads were Italian style and included salami, mozzarella and pepperoncini.
Chopped salads can be as versatile and flexible as whatever you may have in your fridge. I like to prepare a vegetarian version and use a combination of salad greens and seasonal vegetables and herbs like basil and mint. Meatless, crunchy and bright, this chopped salad can be served as a hearty main course salad for lunch, a side salad for dinner, or wrapped in a flatbread or in a pita for a vegetarian sandwich.
How do you make a chopped salad?
I chopped a couple of pints of multicolored cherry tomatoes, an English cucumber, some green onions and a red onion. If you have a red or yellow bell pepper, those work well also. I mixed sprigs of Italian flat leaf parsley, and basil and mint leaves and mixed them with the chopped vegetables to bring layers of herby flavors to the vegetables.
I chopped two hearts of Romaine, and added a handful of spring mix salad greens. Finally some Kalamata olives, halved and seeded added the finishing touch. If you wish to add cheese that is certainly an option. I like it with feta. If you wish to take a more traditional route, then you can use mozzarella, aged provolone or grated Parmagiano Reggiano.
What kind of dressing is best for serving with the chopped salad?
I recommend a simple salad dressing for this fresh, bright chopped salad. A little lemon juice, garlic and extra virgin olive oil whisked together is simple yet enhances the flavors of the vegetables and greens. A balsamic vinaigrette is also another possibility and pairs well with these ingredients. The balsamic adds a little sweetness to the acidity of some of the vegetables. The dressing can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
What to serve with the chopped salad?
This salad pairs well with barbecued and grilled meats and fish. I recently served the salad with grilled steaks. Perfect for our warm summer days and nights.