When it comes to meal salads, I feel pretty much everything you need to know is summed up by one of my favorite commercials of all time, which assures you that no matter what’s in your bowl (deep-fried taco shell, ground beef, guacamole, sour cream and cheese), as long as it vaguely resembles a salad, it must be good for you. [“Is it healthy? Of course it is! It’s a salad, isn’t it?”]
I bring it up today because we’ve fallen madly in love with a salad that I’m not sure we’re eating for any of the earnest reasons that one usually eats a salad — a desire for leafy greens, fresh vegetables or to be enviable in a swimsuit. Nope, I’m pretty sure this is the best salad ever because it tastes exactly like an Italian sub, minus that all-too-frequently lackluster bread. Which totally makes it healthy.
Fortunately, it has other good qualities. It’s cold and refreshing, a plus at dinnertime as it gets hotter outside, and my indoor cooking energies wane. If you’re a closet iceberg lover in a baby field greens world, as I am, here, you are free to be your true salad-crunching self. If you grew up eating Good Seasons “Italian” dressing from the seasonings packet, you’re going to have something of a Proustian moment (but so much better) over the dressing here, which is thick with a pulp of freshly chopped garlic and dried oregano before lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil are whisked in. If you have anyone in your family like my husband, who eats pepperoncini straight from a jar he could single-handedly decimate in two days, this salad will make their year. You can use up those extra chickpeas you soaked last week. You can begin working away at a mounting cherry tomato supply, if you’re in one of the climates where they’re emerging. You can serve this deconstructed if you have the kind of small people in your household who will eat many of these ingredients, but only if they’re unmixed.
And you can also make a killer good salad for dinner tonight from fairly basic ingredients. Because I live on the wrong coast, I haven’t been to Pizzeria Mozza one of Nancy Silverton’s beloved Los Angeles restaurants. But through the power of internet longing and cookbooks, I managed to make it a whole two days between learning about this salad and making it at home, after which I immediately kicked myself for waiting even that long. Don’t let this happen to you.
Two years ago: Broccoli Parmesan Fritters
Three years ago: Roasted Peppers with Capers and Mozzarella
Four years ago: Strawberry Brown Butter Bettys, Shaved Asparagus Pizza and Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Five years ago: Strawberry Shortcakes, Grilled Shrimp Cocktail and Graham Crackers
Six years ago: Molly’s Dry-Rubbed Ribs and S’more Pie
Seven years ago: Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble and Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Nancy’s Chopped Salad
Adapted mostly from The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton, Matt Molina and Carolynn Carreno, brought to my attention by Gluten-Free Girl (thanks!)
I realize that chopping half a pound of salami and cheese into a salad is probably not on most of our swimsuit season agendas, but it’s worth considering that the proportions below will make 6 meal-sized salads (I couldn’t eat a bite more than one portion, either night we had this) and if you’re still nervous, I think you could easily use half the salami and cheese, and not miss a whole lot. Provolone comes softer (less aged, more typical on sandwiches) and more firm (aged, with a sharper saltier flavor). I used an aged provolone; if doing so, I recommend starting with half the recommended cheese so it doesn’t overwhelm. If you’re lucky enough to have or be somewhere that you can readily purchase Sicilian oregano, it is absolutely amazing here. Finally, Silverton calls for a small head of iceberg, but when I used one, I found there to be more dressing than needed. I’d instead recommend a larger head of iceberg, or holding back some vinaigrette to add only if needed.
By the way, almost every instance of this recipe I’ve seen online and in print uses different quantities and size suggestions (1/2-inch wide ribbons vs. 1/4-inch, thin slices versus thick, small vs. large heads of lettuce, more or less chickpeas), which means you especially should feel free to adjust everything below to taste. Save a few adjustments (see above), I made it as printed below.
Makes 6 meal-sized salad or 12 side portions
4 cloves garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons dried oregano (Nancy recommends 2; I got nervous and used 1, but might not have minded more)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil, ideally extra-virgin
Salad and assembly
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into paper-thin rings
1/2 pound provolone (see Note about varieties), sliced 1/8-inch thick then cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
1/2 pound salami, peeled, sliced 1/8-inch thick then cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
4 medium or 8 small pickled pepperoncini, sliced into rings
3/4 pound cherry tomatoes
1 head iceberg lettuce (see Note about size), halved, cored, and cut in 1/2-inch ribbons
1 head radicchio, halved, cored and cut in 1/4-inch ribbons
2 tablespoons dried oregano for garnish (optional)
Make dressing: Roughly chop the garlic and then add the oregano, salt and up to 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper. Chop the mixture together and use the side of a knife or a mortar and pestle to make a grainy herb paste. 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. If you’re using a small head of iceberg, transfer 1/3 the dressing into a small bowl to be used only if needed. For a larger head of iceberg, you’ll want it all.
Assemble salad: 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 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt. Set aside until ready to serve.
To serve: 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. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding any reserved dressing if needed. Serve immediately.
Sicilian Oregano Sources: Available online here and here and I also find it at Italian specialty stores.
296 comments on nancy’s chopped salad
I’m such a fan of huge hearty salads. I usually make a massive batch on Sundays, divide it into individual containers for our work lunches, with the dressing separate to get us through the week. I bet I could tweak this to make it lats. My salami and pepperoncini loving husband would be thrilled
Mmm…this looks delicious! Coincidentally, I have a lot of these ingredients in my fridge, begging to be used up. Thanks for figuring out dinner tonight for me!
Nancy’s chopped salad is one for the record books- and I am also a not-so-closeted iceberg fan. I’m so thrilled this popped up in my feed.
This looks absolutely perfect for this week. I’ve been so bored with salads lately!
Sub in a salad? I’m onboard with that! Sort of an especially delicious chef’s salad!
OMG. This sounds like the perfect solution for all the romaine i have left. I’m sure it’ll be just as good with romaine as it is with iceberg.
This look so great!
Yum! Any ideas about what a veggie substitute for the salami would be (other than more cheese, of course)?
Sarah — I don’t think you’ll miss the salami, what with all the other flavors here that are so strong and wonderful.
artichoke hearts!!!!! Or roasted mushrooms!
Hearts of palm! So good in salad!
One of my salads from one of my favorite cookbooks! I totally agree with the “anything salad-y is healthy” thing. Because… why not?
A very similar recipe (inspired by Mozza) first crossed my path via the tastespotting blog … and I have loved it ever since!! You are so right – the dressing really makes it taste just like an Italian sub. I often reduce the meat/cheese ratio a bit, like you mention, but I’m excited to hunt down some aged provolone like you used. Thanks for the motivation to make another round of this awesome salad!
I needed an easy dinner idea for tonight…here it is.
This looks absolutely gorgeous and I am so excited to try it! I have problems getting Provolone here in the UK, do you know if another cheese would work just as well? Or even half as well? I’d love to get this combo right!
Rona — Definitely think other cheeses would work. Provolone, when fresh, is softer and sliceable, a mild cheese. When aged, a little saltier and more funky. I’d use anything you’d like here.
Romaine lettuce — I agree, would work well instead of or alongside iceberg here. But you know I’m Team Iceberg, always. :)
YUUUUUM!!! I love a good Italian sub, but I don’t have them too often since I moved away from New Jersey. Definitely need to give this “healthy” salad version a try :)
Mmm. That sounds delicious. I’ll likely have to halve the recipe since the young children in our household don’t eat anything green – one might eat the cherry tomatoes though.
I’m really not a fan of iceberg, any other recommendations for crunchy salad (romaine, perhaps?)?
I am not a huge salami fan and will often put tuna into salads (especially with beans and lemony dressing) and think I might try it with this. The dressing sounds wonderful, that’s the part I’m most excited about!
I have made this many times. I use mozzerella instead of provolone because that is what I usually have in the frig.
I love this salad and bring it to work since it holds up quite well. Yum, Yum, Yum.
This looks soooooo good my mouth is watering.
yes, this sounds wonderful! what about fresh mozeralla instead of provolone? or roasted chickpeas? ahhhh. too many delicious options.
YUM! I’ve recently become addicted to chopped salads. I don’t know why, but there’s just something so much more delicious about salad when it’s chopped up. This salad looks awesome!
I know I in a minority here but I don’t care for raw red onions or chickpeas (or olives), might you or anyone else have thoughts for an alternative for those items? Everything else looks yummy.
Did you make the recipe for her chickpeas? They’re incredible. You know the beans are good when you have to force yourself to stop eating them plain. The first time I made them was just for this salad, but they make for incredible hummus-super smooth without having to peel, and the cooking liquid is perfect to use in the mixing.
I’ve had the salad at Mozza. With this recipe, to get even closer to the Mozza experience, you need a glass of dry lambusco and really good bread sticks..and the butterscotch bundino. (And now that you own the book, I also HIGHLY recommend the cornmeal pinenut rosemary cookies with or without the bundino.)
Deanna — I did not, but would like to — along with everything in the book. I had found an old bag in the cabinet last week, and soaked/cooked/resuscitated them with just salted water so they were around already when I decided to make this.
I definitely think this will be a staple in our house this summer :) NOMS!!!!
Chopped salads are my favorite! And I just recently fell in love with chickpeas. I usually like to have a salad paired with a yummy type of biscuit or muffin for a light dinner. :)
For those who don’t eat various of the ingredients, I think that part of the wonder of this is merely the fact that it’s a chopped salad. I’m with tara–there’s something more delicious. I usually go with a standard throw-it-together, but when I take the time to dice my peppers, greens, etc., it’s just so incredibly good.
I don’t do raw onions, but have a jar of Deb’s pickled onions from the Spring Salad with New Potatoes that I always keep around for things like this. I don’t do salami, but will probably put in some fresh herbs and maybe baked tofu. Add whatever sounds great!
I figured out the calories on this and it’s not that bad…about 450 per serving for the above recipe. 373 per serving if you halve the the provolone and salami.
Lena — Thanks; good to know. It might help that it doesn’t use an epic amount of olive oil for the size of the salad.
No olives!? I has a sad. I will remedy this with the one I construct tonight. This looks amazing!
Looks delicious! One of my favorite game day recipes is a less lettuce-heavy version of this (minus chick peas, plus prosciutto) with everything chopped smaller, and served with sliced Italian bread for topping and schmearing– hoagie dip!
I am a huge fan of Nancy Silverton and have had this chopped salad along with a Mozza pizza-heaven!
Your first week in June recipes are always a smash hit in our house. Last year’s broccoli parmesan fritters have been in heavy rotation for the past week and a half (just ate a leftover one for lunch), and I decided this morning to make the roasted, marinated peppers and fresh mozzarella recipe for Shavout (hooray dairy!) that’s starting tomorrow night. And that recipe was on heavy repeat the summer that came out. There’s a pizza shop close to our house whose house salad features marinated chickpeas, pepperocini, grated carrots, black olives and a red wine vinaigrette that I’m borderline obsessed with. So this salad is just singing to me. I’m like Alex and can snarf an entire jar of those in a two day period. I always get hiccups because of the spice, but that doesn’t stop me from eating them with the fridge door wide open.
Thanks for solving my dinner quandary so early in the day. Yum.
This is my go-to order whenever I get takeout from Mozza. Come to think of it, I eat it whenever I’m there too – and can attest to its deliciousness!
Our favorite and only takeout salad we ever do from the original restaurant which Nancy based this on – La Scala. Non-meat eaters in our family substitute tuna and add mushrooms and grilled red peppers. Leon’s original recipe which I was lucky enough to get my hands on, called for a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese in the dressing- no longer served at the restaurant but a highly recommended addition.
I am in love with this salad… Shauna (Gluten Free Girl) posted her thoughts about this salad and a link to the LA Times version a week or two ago and I’ve made it twice since. It makes a fabulous pasta salad as well :)
I heart you. I’ve been looking for a good base recipe to copy my love of pizza salads (in PDX Wall Street Pizza and American Dream Pizza have the best). you made my day. It was the dried oregano that let me know you had the one. thanks!
This looks great. I know you said you used less oregano than recommended, but could you use a different herb all together? I’m not a huge oregano fan, but love the idea of this salad.
People can be snobby about iceberg lettuce and no one likes the dismal pale salads you get at airports with them but in tex-mex tacos, burgers, po’ boys and probably this salad it is sublime. And won’t wilt like baby soft butter lettuce.
Hoagie salad! *waving from the Philadelphia area*
A salad that tastes like an Italian sub is now the only type of salad I want to be eating. I love that you can get all of the flavor without all of the bread!
Whenever I see a salad like this, I always think of Elaine from Seinfeld, ordering a “big salad” with “all the stuff in it.” :)
Ahhhh! This IS indeed one of the best salads ever. I’ve had it at Mozza and have made it myself. So flippin’ good!
Such colorful pictures! I too like chopped salads a lot. In fact they seem to be the only sort I ever make.
But do you mind if I play editor for two minutes?
“It’s cold and refreshing, a plus at dinnertime when as it gets hotter
outside, and my indoor cooking energies wane.”
“make a killer good dinner salad for dinner tonight”
“I managed to make it a whole two days before learning about this salad
and making it at home”
Handful — Ugh, thanks. Will fix.
This is almost identical to the pasta salad I make. I use everything but the lettus and dump it over pasta. Delish! It’s lunch, dinner or picnic fare for days.
Isn’t this salad wonderful! I actually posted about it earlier this year. http://honeycombfood.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-favorite-chopped-salad.html I sautéed the chickpeas in a skillet with a little olive oil and za’atar so they’re warm and crispy. I like to add some blanched green beans too!
I’m a health freak so I plan to make this salad without few ingredients like salami or oil. And less salt, why not:) And of course more lemon juice – this is something that we just love to add more. I was curious about nutritional values per 1 serving after all those modifications so I checked it using HF recipe analyzer (http://happyforks.com/analyzer – for those of you who don’t know this tool).
1 huge serving has 477 kcal (22% of my recommended calorie intake) and 55% of folate RDA, 106% of recommended fiber, 104% calcium and it’s not everything good in it:) So tasty, so healthy, so filling. I love it!
This looks amazing! What does 1/4 inch ribbons refer to?
1/4-inch ribbons — Just refer to cutting something into strips, 1/4-inch wide. Not that it terribly matters; you can cut the ingredients to whichever size you’d like.
While it might not be the “lightest” fare, this looks like a really well balanced salad, especially if you’re serving it for a meal. Perfect for lunch or a picnic.
I have been addicted to this salad for years (and had already planned on making it for dinner tonight!) – Mozza is my “happy place.” Next time, try making with the dried chickpeas. The recipe is in her cookbook or you can find online. The homemade “ceci” takes this salad to a whole new place of happy.
chopping a half pound of salami and cheese is always on my agenda. also, it’s in a salad, so it’s basically negative calories, right?
I love chopped salad. The only thing this one is missing is some chopped kalamatas – especially if you are not using the salami. Adds that umami flavor that otherwise might be missing.
It is salad season! My husband is not a big salad fan, but this looks like it could tempt him. Excited to try this out this week.
I made this for dinner tonight…SO good!! I love the tanginess of the dressing and the mix of flavors and textures. The perfect summer supper. I added kalamata olives, which are wonderful with the other ingredients. This will be a go-to this summer, for sure!!
I am so excited for this recipe! Mario Batali’s Tarry Lodge serves a Nancy’s Chopped Salad that I love and I never realized that it was inspired by a Nancy Silverton salad. Thank you!
Chopped salads are my favorite kind of salads! It’s so hard to beat large chunks of ingredients that aren’t drowning in greens…
Although I did just have some mixed greens plain tonight with homemade blue cheese dressing and that was amazing as well…
This is very similar to the garbage salad from Portillos, which is the fast food place you must visit if ever in Chicagoland. Plus there you get a yummy lemon poppyseed muffin on the side.
Oh, I can see a small amount of salami making a big hit in a salad – never thought of that! And the dressing sounds delicious. I’m going to have to try this.
I assemble little of this, little of that salads all the time for lunch – this gives me some additions. (I love to vary them.)
Made this tonight and it was heavenly. Very happy husband as well!
Can’t wait to try this! I LOVE chopped salads, too. I didn’t realize that so many other people did also! :) Thanks for this great recipe.
P.S. Whenever I read your blog I can’t help but think of the chocolate babka recipe. My family would love it if I made that sometime soon!
Love this salad, it’s my go to when I visit Mozza!! When I make it at home I add some roasted artichokes.
This looks so delicious and chopped salads are my ABSOLUTE favourite types of salad – you get a bit of everything in each bite!
This salad is calling my name!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just what I’d like to enjoy for lunch today! :)
This salad looks perfect!
perfect for the super hot weather in the philippines..
Made it for lunch as soon as i saw this. Made do with what i had..bacon and regular tomatoes instead of salami and cherry, and no pepperonchini. So good! The dressing would be good on anything.
Oh Oh Deb! Another great salad from you!
Will make this soon…
I love that you use iceberg lettuce in this salad! I used to really look down on it, but it certainly has its place. Love this salad. Dried oregano is so strong – I’m glad you only used 1 tablespoon!!!
It’s salad season! I love the chickpeas and cherry tomatoes in this… Will let you know how it is received should we make it at home :)
What do you think of using fresh oregano here? Bought some at the farmer’s market so it’s just waiting for me in the fridge…
Fresh oregano — Could be delicious, but go much easier on it. Maybe start with 1/4.
This is so going into the rotation since I am getting slightly “niçoise-d out”. I love me some salads this time of year, especially those that aren’t so dietary.
Made this last night for dinner and was a huge hit.
This is my idea of a salad!
Question – do you think the chickpea, onion & dressing component would hold up over the course of a few days? I would add it to tomatoes, iceberg and radicchio for each serving. I’m just thinking about how good this salad would be for my work “lunchbox.”
emily — Mostly. The chickpeas get a little pickled — not a bad thing, depending on your perspective. The cheese could get a little soft or sticky. But I don’t think it’s a big deal. (I’d kept that part in the fridge for a day so we weren’t drowning in wilted, leftover salad so I’m basing this on what I noticed.)
This is going to be my go to salad this summer! Thanks for sharing!
My Italian grandparents owned a meat market as I was growing up and my mom wod often make a similar salad for dinner – super delicious! Thanks for sharing.
Oh, YUM. Once again, thank you!!
This is my kind of salad! And that dressing, I bet it’s amazing! Can’t wait to try.
I’m a closeted iceberg lover. I think it is because when I was little, my mom was really into health food and would never let us buy iceberg lettuce, so to me, it is kind of like a grown up treat! I also love anything that crunches, so that might play a part in it too. My husband refers to iceberg as the “real lettuce” and he won’t eat any other kind. This salad sounds amazing and I love that tastes like an Italian sub, I might have to add in a few crusty croutons to get my bread fix! This will be the perfect summer salad :)
Ya for summer and salads!
Yep. This is dinner tonight. My favorite salad is one from childhood: iceberg, cucumbers, tomatoes, white sliced onion, tons of salt and pepper, tons of oregano AND WHITE VINEGAR WITH VEGETABLE OIL. Seriously. I loved it so much that I would end up drinking the leftover dressing from the giant bowl. All the relatives thought it was so cute but now I realize: how crass a child I was!!!!
What a great meal salad. Love your photos, they never fail to make me hungry. Thanks for this great recipe idea, Deb!
I’m so glad to know I’m not alone on Team Iceberg – or on Team Because Of My Childhood, I Thought Dressing Always Started As A Packet! (My Proustian moment would probably be triggered by a good dollop of Hidden Valley Ranch, though.) I’m not a huge fan of chickpeas; would cannellini beans work, do you think?
On a related note, and because you linked to the wedge salad: Ever since roasting cabbage and broiling blue cheese on top (my answer to St Patrick’s Day last year, because I was making corned beef and cabbage but simply can’t stand the taste or flatulent smell of boiled cabbage), I’ve been trying to work out a recipe for…don’t wretch…a warm wedge salad. I’m stuck on what, if anything, to dress it with. If I have a “eureka!” moment, I’ll let you know…
Just made this for tea and it was delish, another winning flavour combo! I do raise an eyebrow when people comment on making tasty recipes and then go on to substitute so many ingredients that it really isn’t actually the original recipe anymore…but I feel I stayed true to the spirit. I was so eager to try it; but I needed to substitute with the contents of my fridge! I heartily recommend, that if like me you have no Pepperoncini = red pepper, small gerkins and a spoonful of cream cheese. Salami = chorizo (chorizo and chickpeas are always a winning combo), totally works. As a side note sadly no onions due to my partners request of onion exclusion diet – one more week to go, recipe suggestions welcome :) Anyway this is quite the rambling first post. But I think this little winner could make a regular appearance in our household, I may even hopefully be true to the original one day. Thanks! X
Sarah: The Yves company makes as very good veggie pepperoni. Available at Schnucks grocery chain and Whole Foods.
Tried this tonight and O. M. G.!!! It’s killer!!! My husband even said it looked good and he’s not a big salad fan. . .looks like he’ll be diving in for dinner too!
Pepperonncini? I can’t quite see that – can anyone comment on why it’s in there ad why I should include it?
I made this today and it was wonderful! We’re pescaterians, so I used tuna, but I bet the salami would have added a nice salty complexity to it. I followed the recipe with the exception of using half and half aged and mild provolone and adding roasted red peppers and cukes. It would have been great without those additions, too. It was so satisfying!
Made this tonight. Husband said, and I quote, “I’d like to have some variation on this every night.” Huzzah.
Sorry, but I am definitely confused…Per your comment #73…wouldn’t you use more fresh oregano? I mean, don’t you usually use less dry and more fresh to equal the same amount? Of course to me, 1-2 tablespoons of dried oregano seems like an awful lot to what turns out to less than one cup of salad dressing. Please advise. Thanks!
JP — You’re right, it should be double. That said, it does sound very strong (fresh oregano seems especially loud) so I’d do it to taste. And know that the flavor profile will be a little different; I always associate that kind of “Italian” dressing with the specific taste of dried oregano. I suspect Silverton has ample access to fresh, and prefers the dry here.
Hi Deb! Thoughts on Apple cider vinegar in this? All I have…thanks!!!
Mart — I think it would be just fine, maybe a touch milder.
I need more than just salad in my salad. Chopped salads are the best and always so filling. Even my man would like this one with the meat.
I read on Food52 about this tip for slicing cherry tomatoes: place them between two plastic lids (pressing the top lid to keep the tomatoes in place) and slice. Boom. If you’ve got a considerate quantity of cherry tomatoes to slice, this should save some time.
that looks amazing. it’s 10:15pm here and this post makes me feel like i’m starving
This reminds me of a sandwich my husband always orders, so i will definitely be trying this recipe very soon…it is salad weather after all.
This is beyond perfect! I made it as is, it’s phenomenal, the one thing I’m going to change next time (although deb was telling the truth when she said this makes a lot so it’ll be a while til I need to make it again) is I’m going to also add giardiniera, muffulettas are my favorite sandwiches ever and this is one jar away from being the only salad I plan to eat all summer. This is also the perfect potluck/bbq salad.
Deb, thanks for your input! I’ll give this salad a try at a half-scale or something like that and see how it holds up. Cooking for one is always a fun experiment in leftovers.
Never been overly fond of oregano, but am overly fond of every other ingredient in this salad. Ran to the store yesterday and had it for dinner. OMG, you are right, tasted just like an Italian sub. I live in the Caribbean so there were a couple of things i had to sub, but it was just delish. looking at even the cheap oregano differently now.
Aaaaand this was last night’s dinner. I tossed the radicchio and left out the iceberg so I could toss the leftovers with fresh iceberg the next day for lunch.
OMG-We had this for dinner last night and I do believe that my husband of fifty years would have asked me to marry him. Winner! Both the salad and the husband.
This was a great dinner last night and I’m thinking of a variation for later this week based on a white bean and tuna salad — skip the pepperoncini and change out the salami for tuna, the garbanzos for white beans. Maybe a basil based dressing although the garlic would work.
I made this yesterday, and even converted someone who was originally unamused by my need to make this salad. Thank you for sharing! This recipe will be on repeat this summer when I can’t bother to cook anything on the stove.
A Seattle area restaurant (Cucina!Cucina!) used to serve a salad extremely similar to this – it included chicken breast and fresh basil and it used chopped romaine. I tried replicating it but could never get the dressing right – I will definitely try this one. Thanks!
A salad that tastes like a sub? Sold! My husband could eat an entire jar of pepperoncini in one sitting, so I have a feeling we’ll be making this one soon. Thank you for the inspiration!
Geeze! That looks delicious!
Deb, your composed salads are my favorite recipes! This and your Cobb salad would both be perfect for a buffet table- and I’ve made both and they are delicious, in both cases the lettuce can easily be doubled for those watching budgets or waistlines!
My family just happily scarfed this down for dinner after a horribly hot TX day. SO delicious!
We just inhaled this for dinner. Took me longer to assemble ingredients at the grocery store than it did to prepare! I still don’t get the thrill with iceberg, but I used it anyway. It just seems to find any oil and wilt within seconds. I forgot the pepperoncini, but luckily got spicy salami and wish I had looked harder for a funkier cheese.
Simply delicious. I made the dressing exactly to recipe but blended it with a Cuisinart stick blender to emulsify and thicken slightly. I am not an iceberg fan so I subbed romaine hearts. Left out the garbanzos at the request of one of my kids (I’m such a pushover, but I can take or leave garbanzos). Cheese was havarti since I already had some that needed to be used. Also, I was inspired to add grated parmesan right before serving. YUM and DONE!
Made it. Loved it.
notes: doubled recipe as bringing food over to friends and keeping other half for my family, didn’t put salt on tomatoes b/c somehow salty enough already (I used some local Ontario salami – maybe saltier than other kinds?) also – when doubling take your time mixing the ingredients or the pepperoncini won’t wind up even – ours was mild and theirs was HOT. Also used 1/2 the salad dressing – for the doubled amounts and cut out some of the lettuce.
I wanted to let vegetarians know that this salad is also delicious with veggie salami. While I usually avoid meat substitutes like the plague, I didn’t think the salad would be quite the same without something approximating salami. Everybody in my family loved this salad (my husband was an especially big fan) and we learned that our toddler is a huge fan of fake salami. Huh.
Can I just say, when I clicked over to the picture of your sweet little man asleep in the backseat, it made me think of the time about 4.5 years ago when many of us were checking back every few hours to see if you had posted an update on the arrival of your little “cinnamon swirl hair” baby! Can’t believe how time flies. You’ve continued to be such an inspiration to me to branch out in my kitchen. Can’t wait to try this beautiful chopped number asap!
Just had to stop by to say that I made this last night for a dinner with friends and it was AMAZING. I even brought leftovers to work for lunch and, despite forgetting to put my container in the fridge, it was still awesome. This is going into my regular meal rotation. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!
This salad looks delicious! Can’t wait to make. And that taco salad commercial literally had me laughing out loud!! Thx for sharing.
My boyfriend seemed disappointed last night to come home and find me chopping up veggies for “just” a salad. He was pleasantly surprised when this showed up on the table and was filling enough for a main dish!
I was so excited to read this post, not only because this salad looks absolutely delicious, but because I now know there is another human that shares my affinity for pepperoncinis!!
This is exactly what I have been looking for, thanks! On another note, Pizzeria Mozza isn’t as amazing at it sounds so please don’t be fooled. Now Osteria Mozza next door is all that and a bag of chips but for good pizza Michael’s in Long Beach is the best in Socal.
Wonderful! I made this last night and my husband, who has an aversion to salads loved it. It was the perfect dinner for a warm night. My Publix didn’t have the radicchio so I went with arugula instead. This will be a do again in our house.
Deb: I just finished making Nancy’s Chopped Salad for dinner and can’t wait to dive into it. My salad dressing, however, does not look like the picture of yours. I wonder what the difference is. It tastes great, tho. Thank you for another inspirational meal. My family can’t get enough of the Double Chocolate Banana Bread. Or the Breakfast Pudding. Or, or, or……
Irma — Can you explain how your dressing looked different?
making this salad for a family get together tomorrow ! .. just wondering if i prepped tonight and combined the salami, onion, provolone, and chickpeas with the dressing in the fridge if it would be okay to sit overnight? then add the lettuce and other ingredients in tomorrow before the party ? thank you !
Just a little provenance on this salad – this was inspired by the famous La Scala’s chopped salad. I believe that they use mozzarella and you can order additional goodies in your salad – my personal favorite is to add some very good canned tuna in place of the salami. Love it!
I’ve been making variations on this salad for years, and just referring to it as my Antipasti Salad. One thing I loooove adding is hearts of palm. I get it at Trader Joe’s, and slice into rings. There’s something about their slight sweetness that balances really well with the savory charcuterie.
Absolutely delicious!!!! I wasn’t sure about the chickpeas, but it fits well, after all! My boyfriend and I were impressed by the simplicity and the tastiness of this salad!
Just made this for dinner and it is truly wonderful. I love that you do all the research and come up with such great things to cook and I just have to follow your lead.
This is a very good salad.
That is all.
: ) i
This was yummy. The 11 yr old said it was the worst salad ever, but I noticed she ate more of it than I’d expected. And the husband loved it.
And just think how good it would have been had I remembered to add the olive oil to the dressing? Whoops…
Made this for a friend’s move to supplement the traditional moving feast of “Pizza and Beer.” It was scarfed down and there were NO leftovers. I used artichoke hearts in lieu of the pepperocini and romaine. Making it again this week. Yay. It’s the chopped salad of my dreams.
SWOON. I made this over the weekend and it was a hit at my BBQ. More people went back for seconds of this than anything else!! To please the vegetarians in the group, I kept the salami in a separate dish for meat-eaters to add at will, but other than that made as is. It really does taste exactly like an Italian sub, and we were all in heaven.
I’m an iceberg lettuce fan. Nice to see this usually forgotten lettuce used in such a beautiful hearty salad.
I’m thinking I need to make this sometime this week. And I’ll put this restaurant on my “must visit” list next time we go to see family in SoCal again. (there’s one in Newport Beach, hooray!!)
I have now made this salad (sort of – I tweaked it to adjust for personal taste) four times (the last two times I made a double batch – so maybe I should say I have made it 6 times?). It has been a hit every time. The changes I made were: added hot peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and multiple different salamis, left out the provolone and added havarti instead, added some radishes (because were left over), got rid of the radiccio (no one in my family likes this) and went all iceberg (we all like this) and in the dressing I used Zatar instead of oregano and I added some grainy mustard to the dressing. I also added some garlic croutons and shaved parmesan when plating out the “salad”. A winner
Made this last night. So good! I did the garlic in a mortar and pestle with the salt, then added the other dressing ingredients. Not sure if the true paste I got from using a mortar and pestle made the dressing extra garlicky, but I’ll cut back to maybe 2 cloves next time. I love garlic, but burny garlic is not my most favorite. That said, I’ll definitely be making it again, and I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers this week!
Winner. I was afraid it was going to be a bit strong with all the garlic, onions, pepperoncini, but it balanced out beautifully and the iceberg was perfect here. I used fresh oregano from our garden, somewhere between 1-2 TBS for a half recipe, and it was fantastic.
My belly says thanks. This was a delicious lunch-main meal, as my husband has to work tonight. Finished up with homemade strawberry pie. So we had our vegetables and fruits, :).
Added artichoke hearts to this… am marinating everything (minus the lettuce) in the dressing right now for a dinner tomorrow night. Hopefully the toppings will last that long – I keep eating them in bits…
Made this last night for a ladies’ night in and it was huge hit. Had to make some substitutions due to lack of availability of ingredients in Australia but still they ate the whole thang’. I used Havarti cheese and pickled peppers and still was just yummy. I think I might add some olives next time but really a great salad for those take a dish places, as well as, a salad ‘meal’.
This salad looks perfect!
so good for a weekday lunch pick-me-up!!
whipped this together for lunch with my toddler running around in the kitchen. i’ve been getting radicchio in my CSA box lately (northern california reader here). perfect timing. i didn’t have a couple things, and made subs, but still delicious! (black-eyed-peas for garbanzos, and spicy homemade pickled carrots for the pepperoncini). i really want to try it with the right ingredients next time, but this dressing was superb! thanks for changing up my salad game in a good way. :)
It’s yummy, but Jean Leon of La Scala fame (the original from one on Little Santa Monica in Beverly Hills) deserves the credit. He created that salad almost 50 years ago. It is nice that Ms. Silverton feels comfortable to tweak it and call it her own, but anyone who lived in LA way back when knows it will always be the Jean Leon Chopped Salad. Today, we can all call it our own once we make it, eat it, and enjoy it! My fav salad for over 40 years. I never leave LA without having it at least once, sometimes twice or three times.
How long does this hold up if I make it to last the week? Would you recommend keeping the dressing out until right before I am ready to eat it?
Excellent salad! Added a tablespoon of dijon to the dressing and it knocked it out of the park!
Another hit! My husband loves this, and ew both agree that this is the perfect summer no-bake alternative to pizza. Even though I opened a can of white beans rather than chickpeas and had to substitute mâche for iceberg, this was amazing. I’m so glad I bought double the ingredients so that I can make it again this weekend! :)
Have been meaning to make this for a few weeks and finally got around to it tonight. Well worth waiting for – it’s delish plus – thanks, Deb, for another meal to add to my ‘make again’ list!
This has been a lifesaver for us — we’ve been tossing in everything from our weekly CSA along with our antipasti favs — artichoke hearts, marinated olives, sundried tomatoes — and I can’t stop craving this thing.
I’m totally adding some dijon to the vinaigrette — love that idea! We’ve talked abt adding some tuna to make it nicoise-y — this is pretty much becoming the ‘…and the kitchen sink’ salad in our house.
Followed the recipe exactly except the raddiocchio and it was enjoyed by all alongside a BBQ for the worldcup today :) thanks for the recipe Deb!
Made this for our card club night tonight and it was a huge hit! Embarrassing moment, if I got embarrassed, would be that I bought red cabbage instead of radicchio and didn’t even realize it til it was chopped and mixed into the salad…but I confessed my duh-moment, we laughed, debated the difference between the two, then happily pounded the salad like champs. Definitely a new staple! Thanks again, Deb!
I made this last night and it was delicious! I found the recipe on Tuesday and knew that I wanted to make it for dinner on Thursday–meaning that there would be no time to stop in a specialty store for fancy ingredients. I live in Ky, so that means that I had to use regular hard salami and provolone (aged? uh…) from the deli and the regular oregano in my spice drawer. And Kroger didn’t have radicchio. Still, so very delicious! I tossed in some handfuls of arugula, since I had it. Even my kids–age 12 & 7–loved it. Eating leftovers for lunch right now… Thanks, Deb!
Deb, how far in advance can I make this? Was thinking about tonight and serving it the next day for lunch. Also, any italian salami?
hfg — I’d say any salami you like to eat, even. With salads, I find they keep better if you only addd the dressing or dressed elements at the last minute or they’ll wilt.
I made it today and it was fabulous! My son (19) had 3 helpings!!
I made this last night and what a success! I made the dressing per the recipe using 1 Tblsp. oregano (not the Sicilian kind, just regular oregano) and it was perfect. I didn’t use iceberg because my family truly turns their noses up; so I used romaine hearts and it worked great. With the exception of the type of lettuce, I made this as written and wouldn’t change a thing. This one goes in the warm weather rotation for sure!
Today I am grateful for your new “Six Months Ago” feature, Deb. Not because I live on the other side of the world, but because after many days of hearty and unhealthy eating, this seems like a hearty but not so unhealthy solution for lunches. So, thanks!
Kaitlin — We actually had a version of this at Carmine’s and it was SO GOOD. I am totally revisiting this this week.
deb, you hit the nail on the head with the bit about alex and the pepperoncini. that is my boyperson to a…t? tee? anyhow, no time for googling the meaning and spelling of old sayings, i must make this salad asap.
(especially because last week he snuck a bite of my salad involving field greens, blue cheese, apples, cranberries, and a pomegranate vinaigrette before i could say “no, you won’t like that!” and made the most awful face it was funny. this might make it up to him.)
finally got around to making this last night, so good! i think next time though i’ll either use romaine hearts or toss the iceberg with the rest of the salad in individual portions right before serving. the iceberg got soggy so quick. but that didn’t stop me from having two helpings with a soft roll to soak up the dressing :) the aforementioned boyperson even said aloud that it was good and endeavored to do more than just pick out the salami, heh. (although eventuually that was the case. typical.) still, a keeper.
If I need to choose between salami and cheese, I should choose salami, right? I assume the salami gives the salad more of a punch…
Talia — Yeah, I’d probably use the salami. I mean, a good sharp aged provolone provides a lot of flavor, but most of the provolone we’d find in the store rarely does. Enjoy!
Can you make the dressing a day in advance?
I think Nancy is a genius. So are you Deb, for posting this recipe. Thank you!
I looked at this yesterday and it was lurking in my subconscious all day today, but when I got around to making dinner I had only about half of the stuff you used. But I was imbued with the spirit of the thing, and so I forged ahead with what I had and it was fantastic. Here’s what I ran with: I had a pound or so of parboiled green beans which I chopped and tossed with your ’70s Italian vinaigrette. Salted the cherry tomatoes and let them hang. Sliced and iced some red onions. Roasted my chickpeas in a hot oven with lots of olive oil. I had some Armenian string cheese that was too salty to eat plain, so I chopped it up, tossed it into a preheated cast iron skillet filled with oil, and put that in the oven to make crunchy cheese croutons. And then, to serve, I added several really good sardines (sprats, actually) to the beans with the tomatoes and onions, tossed it with more vinaigrette, and topped in with crunchewy chickpeas and cheesy things. So, not so much what you did, but also totally wouldn’t have happened without you. Successful with the family, too! — how often is a salad met with roars of approval from sweaty man-boy diners?
Funny! Just made this a couple nights ago! It’s delish!
This recipe does looks super tasty but I wonder about it being healthy? The calories are low (~450) and the sat fat is high but tolerable at ~12g (2/3 a day’s worth) but the sodium rocks in at ~2600mg per serving – yikes! that’s more than a whole days worth. Wouldn’t the salad still be great with half the added salt (3.5 tsp.)?
Hi Kate — No reason not to reduce to the salt to your dietary needs.
First, I love everything on this site so maybe it was just me and a very tart lemon. The dressing was too salty for us which made the salad inedible. I did put a full lemon in the dressing and maybe that coupled with the salt was the issue.
I made this last night for a ‘salad supper’ for one of my committees. After adding the salami, cheese and chickpeas to the bowl of dressing, I realized it was going to make a HUGE amount. I divided out the mixture into a separate bowl, and only used half the remaining ingredients. It filled my rather large salad bowl! I’ll mix up the remainder for a pot luck dinner later this week. Winner all around!
Deb: Thanks for this EXTRAORDINARY
salad dressing! I “borrowed” it for yesterday’s
Antipasto salad & it was incredible!
Guests were soaking it up with their bread!
I substituted Balsamic vinegar, for the red
wine vinegar- still was great!
Oh my. So good… But the garlic in the dressing has stayed with me all day. Oh well. Sorry coworkers. Making it again for lunch tomorrow!
This was soo good! I’ve been making breadless Italian subs for years – usually with thinly sliced steak and swiss cheese – but it’s good with whatever you like on a sub. What made this extraordinary was the Oregano dressing – I can finally stop using bottled dressing after so many years of trying and discarding homemade versions – it was incredible!
This salad looks absolutely amazing but I don’t eat pork so the salami wouldn’t work for me sadly. Is there any alternatives that might work? Would an all-beef salami ruin everything?
Maya — There’s no reason you cannot use beef salami, or make any swaps that would be more to your taste.
No reason to be ashamed for liking iceberg lettuce! The whole myth that it has “no nutritional value” is bogus.
Picked up your book at the library. I’ve mentioned your book in my Learning to Cook series on my blog.
That dressing is amazing; saw your recipe right as I was starting to make spaghetti with shrimp, garlic, red onion, spinach, mushrooms, and pine nuts, and used it for our sauce. Rave reviews from all. Thanks, Deb! Rock on.
This popped up in my FB feed yesterday and it looked PERFECT – and it was! A huge hit for the whole family. We replaced salami and prov with cold cuts and cheese we happened to have already for sandwiches (turkey, roast beef, turkey pepperoni; muenster) and kept cheese on the side. And added olives. Basically just had a sub fantasy and then threw all of it into a bowl with your guidance and this fabulous dressing. Thank you – we will definitely make it again!
This was amazing! I made a big batch last night. I halved the recipe for two people and there was still a bunch left over. I think it would be good dish if having friends over for lunch. Thank you!!
The ratio for the vinaigrette in this recipe is really off unless you want a watery, extremely sharp and acidic dressing. It needs way more oil.
Ooh… I’m going to make this as Mason jar salads to take as lunches for work for me and my husband. I figure if I layer it the way I usually do for those kinds of salads (in this case, from bottom to the top, dressing, onion, pepperoncini, chickpeas, tomatoes, salami, cheese, radicchio, lettuce), it should stay fresh all assembled for 4-5 days. Then I can just shake and eat!
This looks fantastic for dinner. Would like to pack for lunch but I have difficulty eating salad in 30 minutes. Best to savor at dinner time.
This looks a lot like La Scala chopped salad, served at the late lamented La Scala on Little Santa Monica and but available in NYC at Joe Allen’s. Urge you to visit Joe Allen’s, Deb.
Made this salad last night but scaled back the salt from 2 teas to 1. So glad I did but still way salty. This recipe only needs 1/2 teas salt due to the salami, provolone, and pickled pepperoncini.
So excited to make this! Do you think kidney beans would work in this?
I’ve been meaning to make this since you posted this recipie and I finally got around to it tonight. What a great salad! I’m low-carbing it right now, so I skipped the chickpeas, but followed the rest exactly. Wonderful recipie.
Is there a feature on the website where I can save my favorites?
Not at this time, sorry.
This dressing is what I have been looking for. So delicious! I love having my own homemade dressing, it’s much better tasting that store bought and you never run out as I always have these ingredients around. It’s also easy to eyeball, just double the amount of red wine vinegar/olive oil to whatever amount lemon juice there is. Makes it an easier weekday meal that way! This is a new go to! Thank you!
This was fabulous! The radicchio at my grocery store looked sad, so I used a bag of kale-radicchio mix instead. The iceberg is nice, but pretty much any green could work beautifully with this, and since it’s so loaded with yummy things (aka sodium), some people might even prefer more vitamin-rich greens. I also found myself wanting more chick peas, and some croutons. :) Brava as always Deb!
This was amazing! I combined the the chickpeas, onion, cheese, peperoncini, and tomatoes all together with the dressing and left it separate so I could mix as much as I wanted with the lettuce and salami. (I used romain) It lasted for days in the fridge with out getting soggy this way!
I come back to this salad again and again and make it almost exactly as written (which is unusual for me!). Sometimes I decrease the amount of onion or increase the amount of pepperoncinis but either way it is fantastic!! My whole family will eat it including my picky toddler. Highly recommend.
It would be nice to get the ratios for 1 or 2 servings instead of 8 :(
You gave me a great idea for Super Bowl! I will go heavier on meats and cheese, skip the chick peas and serve some crusty rolls. Men can make mini subs and the no carb peeps will be happy! I’m already drooling thinking of that dressing. Thanks Deb!!
How do you package the leftovers? I always feel like dressed salad gets kinda gross the next day. Thank you and thanks for all you do!
I keep the dressing separate whenever I can.
I took advantage of your suggestion and ordered some Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia. I have to say it was the most fragrant oregano I have ever had. I like it even better than fresh. The salad was awesome, thanks for the recipe❣
I loved it and so did hubby. I used aged cheese which was really good. This dressing is great and will use again. I made pita chips to accompany the salad.
This is such a craveable salad- especially the dressing. Made it for superbowl and think it will be a tradition- its feels decadent but also cleaner and less heavy than most superbowl foods. Thanks!
PS, I never say this, but the iceberg lettuce is a total must!
This was everything I wanted it to be & more because my picky two year old ate two helpings… two helpings! Thanks for the win at dinner!
Wonderful pictures! and salad looks very good!
We have a similar salad in one of our local restaurants, which makes this Jersey girl in a California world very happy. Thanks for the opportunity to make it at home!
This chopped salad looks so delicious that i cannot takes my eyes off. Wonderful work! Hats off :)
Making this tonite! It’s going to be crazy hot in the NW today! 97degrees. Everyone is melting!
Looks amazing, but I hate oregano – weird, I know! Is there another herb that you would recommend as a substitution?
I suppose thyme and rosemary but maybe safest to go easier on it to start.
This is an outrageously good salad. It’s the type of salad I will, undoubtedly, crave on a regular basis. I had the majority of ingredients in my pantry/fridge already. Major win all around!
Have you ever tried the chopped salad at Prime 112 in Miami? I think you should! It includes spinach, hearts of palm, celery hearts, grape tomatoes, asparagus, applewood smoked bacon and green goddess dressing. (And once you’ve tried it, could you please make a blog post out if to recreate at home? :))
Yum! I’ve been browsing for heartier salad ideas and this looks ideal. I plan to mix the iceberg lettuce with leaf lettuce from my apartment balcony garden, and take it to work for lunch!
This salad is very popular in most Italian restaurants in Baltimore. Usually add a good bit of parmigiana to the dressing. The Bookmaker salad includes steamed shrimp and sliced hard boiled eggs!
This salad is the jam! The dressing is great, I get to indulge my insatiable lust for iceberg and pepperoncini, but HOLY MOLY did mine ever come out huge. How did no one else note this? My regular salad bowl was full before I even got to the lettuce and radicchio. Well, in any case, I’ll definitely be making it again, but halving it.
Healtyish referenced your take on the chopped salad. Love seeing you get praise!
Husband and kids loved this. Adding to the list of favorites! We did ours family style where each person got to put in their ingredients and then tossed the dressing on their individual portions.
I took this and ran with it. Since having to steer clear of wheat/gluten in recent years, one thing I have missed terribly are turkey hoagies. This recipe inspired me to basically make a hoagie in a bowl, with all the ingredients I would usually have (deli Turkey, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, sliced onions, and American cheese (don’t judge me!) I would usually have it seasoned with mayo, salt, pepper, and oregano. I sub peppercorn ranch and some dried oregano, and it’s perfect. Thanks for posting this. I hadn’t thought to do this on my own, and you helped to keep me sane when hoagie cravings strike!
I made this tonight and was very excited. However, I was a little disappointed because I kept feeling there was a lot of bitterness that need a little sweet to balance it out. Lots of salty flavor, lots of bitter flavor. I think I might use some honey in the dressing in the future. As you had warned, the provolone was too bland…a saltier cheese would have been better. I used regular tomatoes, so maybe cherry tomatoes would have added some sweeteness. Anyhow, unfortunately, it wasn’t as scintillating as I’d expected. 😞
Helli, I love this recipe, but I am trying to eat healthier in the new year. Do you have nutritional information for your recipes? Thank you!
Someone posted nutritional info on this a few years ago if you search in the comments! I’d do a Ctrl+F and search for “calories” or “nutritional” or something like that. I just scrolled past it as I was perusing the comments….
I made this tonight, it was scrumptious! Used artisan romaine instead of iceburg.
To take the dressing over the top add 1-2 tbsp brown sugar and more lemon. I agree with less oregano but 2-3 tbsp ground fresh basil can be substituted. Oregano can be overwhelming.
I made this, exactly as written, for a business lunch. Everyone loved it, and it was pretty healthy, so a big winner!
Hi Deb…I was itching to make this salad after I saw it on Instagram and finally had some company over to serve it to last night, so I was excited! It went over very well as an entree salad and was delicious, but made a HUGE amount! I didn’t have a bowl big enough to toss it all together very well.
Did I err or do you use an enormous bowl to assemble and/or serve this in??
I actually haven’t made this in a while but I do remember that the salad is indeed quite big. It feeds a lot!
Made this with (half the amount of) boar’s head salami and aged provolone, red kidney beans (not a fan of chickpeas). Very delicious and hearty, although i found it a tad too salty. I did not use all the dressing, put a portion in a jar and used a small portion to toss the fixings (minus tomatoes) together. When ready to eat, then I toss everything together. that way, it has been able to last a bit longer in the fridge. Will be making again (and again….and again).
Amazing flavors!! This is a hit when brought to parties. A note on the oregano-I have a Greek market within driving distance and they sell Greek oregano that is incredible. Doesn’t even seem like the same herb as what comes out of a McCormick jar. ( not that that’s bad but…)
Sweetgreens is now serving this salad (in a collab with Nancy) and they’ve subbed out the iceberg lettuce with kale and romaine. It’s very good!
This salad is also great when you swap in tuna for the salami. White beans work as well. It is really about the dressing as Deb says.
Made this for dinner this evening and loved it. We cut the recipe in half and had two meal-sized portions plus leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Salting the cherry tomatoes is brilliant.
After you posted this recipe, my husband & I made this many times, each time delicious. Except the last time, when Hubby decided to drive off the tracks, so to speak. Everything in recipe which is supposed to sliced in ribbons? He chopped in 1” or smaller squares. I know you’re thinking, What was I doing? Making dressing & slicing red onion. My Hubby has excellent knife skills, he was fast! FYI, Nancy’s (and Deb’s) Salad doesn’t taste the same cut in small squares. :-/
How do you suppose the dressing would taste if I left the garlic out? See, the universe hates me and I am allergic to garlic…
It is a major part of the flavor profile here, so I’m having a hard time picturing the vinaigrette without it, but doesn’t mean it won’t be a good salad. Maybe less oregano here too when you skip the garlic; they kind of work in tandem.
I never use garlic in my food, and I can safely say this salad and the dressing are fabulous without it. When I see garlic in a recipe. my eyes glaze right over. :)
Another tip, start with less salt then called for, taste and adjust to your liking.
This was SOOOOOOO good. I ate it for 3 days! I took it to a family barbecue where it was a big hit and it was affectionately referred to as the “sub” salad. It does taste a lot like a good Italian sub which is probably why I loved it so much. The oregano dressing is key. Added almost twice as much pepperoncini because we really like it. Used sopressata the first batch because it’s what I had on hand but it was too overpowering. The traditional, milder salami was much more fitting. Will make this again, and again, and again.
I found provolone dolce at a local Italian market, it was nice in the salad but next time I’ll look for an aged provolone so the flavor stands out a bit more. I used a whole head of iceburg from Trader Joe’s which made for a VERY large salad and requied a huge bowl to toss it. But this made a great salad and was enjoyed by all.
This is now a regular in my rotation and really great for potluck with a full recipe. I’ve made 1/2 recipe for spouse and I and still have plenty of leftovers for lunch. It keeps well if you don’t stir the lettuce, radicchio and tomato in until you’re ready to eat. The rest all keeps nicely mixed in the dressing overnight. The last time I used feta cheese which goes great with these flavors.
I have made this salad for the last five years for an Italian Friends Thanksgiving, and I always revisit this site for a refresher. I love the nostalgia of meeting with Deb once a year, every year.
Wondering if the ratio of olive oil to vinegar is correct? The original recipe published in the Washington Post had 2 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano , Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon) or more to taste, 2 medium cloves garlic, 1 smashed and 1 grated, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black peeper, plus more to taste and 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil. Just curious before I try this amazing salad. The ratio of vinegar / lemon to olive oil is very different.
Yes, this is correct. I’m not sure if they made tweaks from the book or I did, but it works as written wonderfully.
Thank you for your response! I prepared the salad dressing as listed here and it was excellent !
I love this salad SO much. The mashing of the garlic and oregano with the salt, followed by a swim in the vinegar and lemon is the most critical step for a cohesive flavor. I did find that with so many strong salty flavors that I can hardly taste the salami, and don’t miss it at all when I use only the sharp provolone. Cook’s Illustrated has a recipe for a muffalata that incoroporates minced giardiniera (Pastene or Trader Joe’s from a jar), and I found that just sliced giardiniera made a great substitute for the pepperoncini when I ran out and might even be an improvement. Thanks for this excellent recipe
Pepperoncini is not happening. Do you think banana peppers would work? Also, what kind of salami? There are many available around here. What do I ask for at the deli counter? Thanks
You can try a banana pepper or another jarred pickled pepper, depending on the heat you want. Soppressata is pretty good middle-of-the-road salami. Here’s a guide.
Love this salad! Been making the S.K. version for years. Recently I started using good quality pecorino and arugula in place of the provolone and radicchio. And we enjoy it even more. One step that I think makes a big difference is marinating the tomato and onion for a few minutes before tossing the entire salad. Will be on repeat until the weather cools. Oh and, we use either no salami or a very small amount it’s still soooo delicious!!
This reminds me of the Italian Salad my mom made. I still make it. After chopping, slicing, and dicing, each ingredient had its own bowl. These bowls surrounded the big salad bowl of lettuce at the table. My dad added each ingredient to the lettuce, added the dressing which is still one of my favorites, and tossed it with great drama at the table. The salad was served in the bowls that the ingredients arrived in. I remember romaine, red lettuce, celery, radishes, cherry tomatoes, strips of Swiss cheese and salami, green onions, and ? That’s all I remember. Oh, and NO CARROTS! We liked them, just not in green salads.
I couldn’t find sicilian oregano at Buon Italia online. But I realize it is about 5 yrs since this was posted. Just thought I’d share.
I’ll find a new link! (Update: Here’s one.) I prefer linking to small shops but they so often add and remove products and change urls, this happens…
I have always wondered if you use dried oregano leaves, or the powdered type of dry oregano. Judging by the product you linked, I’m guessing you use leaves, not the powder type? I have made this salad a bunch of times (I’ve used both powdered oregano and the leaf type) and this salad is absolutely flawless. I am constantly sending people the link to your site because everyone want it once they’ve tried it. But, I’ve never stopped wondering which oregano to use.
I use dried leaves — well, I get this stuff that’s still on the stem, you swipe up it off and then it’s like jarred dried oregano, just slightly bigger pieces you can easily crush with your fingers. I’ve actually never seen oregano powder!
I made this tonight and it is so delicious. I made the following adjustments:
1) I don’t like spicy things so I used dill pickles instead of pepperoncini.
2) corned beef instead of salami, because that’s what I had on hand.
3) vegan parmesan instead of provolone, as I keep kosher and don’t eat cheese and meat together.
The salad was perfection and I will definitely be making it again.
Edit: I used some of the leftover dressing on pasta with veggies the next night and it worked superbly.
We are on a main dish salad kick so I was looking for some ideas. Made this last night. It tastes exactly as described. Like an Italian hoagie without the bread, but the chick peas give the illusion. Used jarred spicy banana peppers and used smoked provolone because I don’t care for the sharp. Since we are trying to cut calories, I used about 1/3 to 1/2 of the salami and cheese recommended, and didn’t feel cheated. Probably because the dressing is exactly right. We’ll be having this again.
I have made this a few times to rave reviews! Thank you Deb for all your great recipes. I have made many but haven’t posted to let you know how great you are and how great everything turns out!
Delicious! I had pinned this recipe years ago knowing my Italian hoagie lover husband would love it. I wasn’t wrong! The only thing I neglected to notice was how much this recipe made. Once I realized it would be too much for just the 2 of us, I separated and layered each ingredient (except for the dressing) into 4 mason jars and left 2 “meal size” portions out. We still have some leftovers we will be picking at throughout the evening and I am hoping the mason jar salads will keep to enjoy for lunches this week. As always, a fantastic dish from smitten kitchen!
I substituted romaine lettuce and arugula for the iceberg and raddichio, because we already had them. (And spinach and cabbage. Buying two more salad greens seemed a bit over the top.) I also traded out the pepperoncini for banana peppers, because that’s what I like on my subs and I knew my kids liked them. It was a really good salad, and we had no leftovers. I put the onion on the side for the adults to add to the salad, and my 8 year old ate two plates while my 4 year old ate a respectable portion. That said, no one is clammering for it to join the regular rotation. I will make it again on another hot summer night, but probably no more often than any other salad.
This salad is decadent! My husband and I are obsessed with it. We made it twice in a row. Only change was to swap out salami for a vegan meat, we’re trying to be vegetarians. It was still perfect and great for the East Coast heat that’s been trying to melt us lately. Smitten is my go to – thank you, Deb!!
Amazing summertime salad! I’ve been looking for years how to reproduce this classic Italian dressing and combo of flavors. Thank you, Deb! Really delicious! I used the full 2 Tbs of dried oregano from my garden and it was absolutely perfect. Very flavorful and the perfect lunch go to.
We love this salad! Not sure how it started, but my partner refers to this as “the slutty Italian salad”. Somehow fitting.
Reminds me of the description of Gaby Dalkin’s (of What’s Gaby Cooking) slutty brownies. Named as such because so many different things go into it.
This is a very nice salad but…..too much garlic, too much salami, too much oregano in the dressing. Just too over done. Please refine for future readers.
We found it just perfect! Thank you Deb!
I made this for a New Year’s Eve potluck and it was a hit! Used arugula instead of iceberg, didn’t salt the tomatoes because things were already tasting salty, and added a few more splashes of vinegar and lemon juice to the bowl once everything was combined. Thanks for the recipe!
Made this for dinner tonight and it was great! Next time I will use a smaller head of iceberg lettuce AND invite all my friends over, it makes a huge amount. I had to break out my punchbowl to contain it because my large salad bowl was too small! I also doubled the dressing (I think again, my lettuce was huge). I will add a touch of sugar to the dressing next time, and use higher quality oregano. I could see serving this at a dinner party or bringing to a potluck. Thank you!
I make this all of the time and my kids love it too. I use green cabbage in the place of the lettuce. It gives it more substance.
This looks a great! Do you have recommendations for good salami to buy? I really like a good one but really really hate a bad or mediocre one. I have no idea which ones will be good so I never buy them, but I have been craving a salad like this so I want to get over that issue.
we called it “garbage”salad…add some diced celery, some sliced beets, deli ham and if ‘s in the frige left over chicken, beef, add when serving hard boiled eggs….left over veggies? add corn, broccoli, green beans…in short- just clean out the fridge
So so delicious! Next time I will reduce the garlic, but I still loved it!
I have lots of fresh oregano in my garden, would that be good or not?
Yes, just use 1/3 or 1/2
As my son Nic said, “It is the equivalent of an Italian sub in a bowl”. Served with crusty Italian bread and it was loved by all!
We made this tonight as it was 100 degrees out and we felt like a salad! I followed the instructions exactly and thought it was fabulous. It tasted like an Italian sub – and I mean that in the best possible way. Thank you!!
So good! Just what you want for dinner on a 90 degree day! I mini chopped garlic with 1.5 T Penzy’s oregano and then rinsed that chopper out with the vinegar. Great dressing! Great leftovers! Thanks for your insights into this famous recipe I have been wanting to try for years. Cheers
The recipe here calls for just 1/4 cup of olive oil; I’ve seen this recipe elsewhere (Washington Post I believe) and it calls for 1 1/2 cup of olive oil. Using just 1/4 cup creates an intensely garlicky dressing with an overabundance of oregano.
Can’t wait to try this! We love the Beach Bean Salad, this sounds like a sister recipe!
This was a hit. My 7 and 9 year old girls said, “We can have this every night of the week! It’s so good!” Thank you for always providing wonderful recipes.
Searched around this Gram for a crowd pleaser salad for my family get together on my cousins farm this weekend (included obligatory photo with all 7 of our dogs and the most beloved John Deere tractor.) This was a hit. Thanks for so many great recipes and fun reads! Came home with the holy grail-a couple dozen ears of sweet corn. More recipe searches for me!
This just became my go-to salad! Brought it as a side dish for pizza and meatballs and it was a hit!
This is a good salad but I want to focus on the dressing. I think my opinion should count more than most because I loathe oregano. But I love Italian subs so I just made it one day…and now it’s one of my household’s favorite dressings! I am totally happy eating it on plain lettuce, and I made it for about the 5th time this week and spent the rest of the evening talking myself down from eating all the lettuce in the house. Feels like a pretty strong endorsement. :)
Is there a substitute for the provolone? One of the few things I won’t eat (blech!!).
Use any other cheese you like, or skip it. There’s enough going on. :)
Thanks! Appreciate the response
In the dressing list of ingredients, there is more acid than oil. – is this correct? Please explain why this combination works.
The salad is quite rich with the cheese and salami – the dressing is punchy and perfect to cut through the fat. You can obviously adjust to your taste though!
The amount of oil doesn’t seem to be correct. 1/4 cup of oil with 1/4 c of vinegar and the juice of a whole lemon?
I’ve made a version of this salad almost weekly for the last few months, making small modifications based on what I’m in the mood for/have on hand. Lately I’ve been subbing the provolone for feta as a prefer the flavors of feta more. The dressing is addicting!
I have a large amount of dried basil leftover from gardening. Would basil translate here in place of oregano?
It would be quite different in the dressing, flavor- and texture-wise but not necessarily bad.
I use the Italian Oregano in Deb’s Amazon link for years since Lydia PBS recommended. It’s wonderful in red sauce salad dressing even in Cucumber tomato salad. Buy it you won’t regret it. Love this salad with Deb’s recommendations.
I had a salad back in the 90s at a place call Cuchina Cuchina Italian in Seattle. Ate it every chance I could. Since then I’ve made it (complete with Good Seasons Italian and added grilled chicken to it. OMG YUMMMM
Wow! Dynamite salad. Definitely don’t skimp on the oregano…use it all.
Made this at a dinner party this weekend along with many other dishes. This was the stand out star! Guests are still talking about it! Used all the oregano. Realized after the fact I forgot to add the radicchio. No one missed it.
I’ve made this a dozen times by now, I call it the hoagie salad. People LOVE it especially the dressing. Funny story: my husband invited his boss and his boss’s wife over for dinner and they love steak and potatoes stick to your rib type meals. So I grilled steaks and did baked potatoes but I also made this salad as an appetizer. They loved the salad so much they ate almost the entire thing and hardly had room for the main course and even took the remainder salad dressing home lol the only thing is I use romaine instead (chopped very small) and no chickpeas.