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by on May 10th, 2011

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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