Now that we’re finally moving into warmer weather, the Accidental Locavore was idly looking for main-course salad ideas, just in case we should get bored by salad Niçoise. I saw this on Smitten Kitchen and it looked interesting. Having some iceberg lettuce on hand added impetus. I made the whole amount of dressing (which she says feeds 6), but scaled down everything else as I was just feeding myself. This is quick and none of the ingredients need cooking.
- 4 cloves garlic, run through a garlic press
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano (preferably Sicilian, if you can find it)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil (use the good stuff here)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into paper-thin rings
- 1/2 pound provolone, 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 pickled pepperoncini, sliced into rings
- 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, in ½” pieces
- ½ cup pitted olives
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, halved, cored, and cut in 1/2″ ribbons
- 1 head radicchio, halved, cored and cut in 1/4″ ribbons
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano for garnish (optional)
Make the dressing: In a small bowl or jar mix the garlic, oregano, salt and ground pepper together to make a rough paste. Add the lemon juice, vinegar and mustard, if using. 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
Assemble the salad: Using the iceberg and radicchio as a base, top with the chickpeas, onions, provolone, salami, pepperoncini, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olives. Top with the dressing and toss to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste, add the dried oregano as a garnish, serve and enjoy.
My verdict: I made it as a composed salad and just dressed the lettuce, but that was mostly so it would photograph well. The dressing had way too much garlic and too much salt, so the next time I would probably cut the garlic down to two average-sized cloves and add more if needed. This was a good base salad to play with. Since I was home alone, the red onions were left out (and considering the excess of garlic, that was a smart move) and replaced with marinated artichoke hearts and olives, both of which were great. Also left out, the radicchio, since there wasn’t any in the house. Because I didn’t toss it all together, in the first few bites I got a lot of pepperoncini and found it gave everything a vaguely unpleasant taste.
The next day, I made a travel version for the train and added about another tablespoon of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and oregano to the leftover dressing. The salt was fine and the garlic, while strong, was under control. We’ve got lots of odds and ends of various salamis, which could easily get sliced up for this. So use this as a guide to building your own incredible salad.