Italian Chopped Salad

Those little white beans are great in this salad!

When it starts to get hot, nothing sounds better than some kind of good salad with a light dressing and maybe a piece of grilled salmon. This is the time of the year in Texas that we start grilling most of our meals and eating outside.

Growing up a salad to me meant head lettuce, cottage cheese, tomato and a chopped boiled egg covered with French dressing. Yes, the French dressing that is orange and comes in a bottle.  We called that salad a Combination Salad and that was what you asked for in a restaurant. That is the only salad I remember ever eating until I got married and started experimenting with recipes. I still love that salad but would not serve it to anyone I know except for my husband.

Coleslaws, yes. Potato salad, yes, no macaroni salad and no salad using anything but iceberg lettuce. Honestly, I don’t remember any other lettuce being sold at our grocery. Of course, I didn’t grocery shop so I don’t know what was sold. I forgot about a salad my mother use to make — Wilted Lettuce Salad.  My dad had a terrific garden and she would pick his curly leaf lettuce add some green onions, bacon and a boiled egg and heat up the bacon fat with a little sugar and vinegar and pour it over the salad. Now that was and is a good salad and I make that occasionally with fond memories.

I love salad and just about anything you can put on a salad. It’s exciting too to be able to go out in my herb garden and pick some lettuce, arugula, chives or herbs to go into a salad I’m making.

I think this salad could be served as a main dish salad by adding some shredded grilled chicken. I have made this salad many times and always forget to double the dressing recipe when I use the whole head of romaine. I also use a soft sun-dried tomato instead of the oil packed ones then I chop them up and add to the dressing.

Arugula is optional. I had it growing in my herb garden so added it to my romaine.

I like the romaine in this salad thinly sliced.

Italian Chopped Salad

(adapted from Everyday Italian – Giada)

4 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 c. finely chopped romaine lettuce (1/2 head)
2 cups finely chopped radicchio (1/2 head)
1/2 c. drained canned white beans, rinsed and patted dry (I use more)
8 oil packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and chopped

Whisk the vinegar, salt and pepper in a large owl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend. Pour the dressing over the lettuce and add the radicchio, beans and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss to coat. Season the salad to taste with more salt and pepper. Enjoy.

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