Thursday, June 12, 2014

Antipasto Chopped Salad with Oregano Dressing

This salad is man-pleasing. Man-pleasing, I tell you.

This salad made Paul pause before making one of his disgusting braunschweiger sandwiches before heading to work and say: "Hmmm...maybe I should take the leftover salad instead!"

This salad is heavy with punchy, bold, Italian flavors thanks to the generous amount of provolone, salami, pepperonicini, and garbanzo beans all tied together by an addictive oregano dressing.

"Delicious, honey, delicious!" Paul kept saying as he ate more and more. See? Man-pleasing.

It's also gal-pleasing. Antipasto is one of my favorite dishes to order at an Italian restaurant and this salad was every bit as good if not better. The only thing I would do differently next time is throw in some black olives or maybe even some marinated artichokes. Then it would be perfect.

We couldn't get Matthew to touch it other than picking out the tomatoes. He kept fiddling around at his seat, not eating, and randomly saying things like "Mommy, you're so cute" or "You're so silly, Daddy" which is incredibly sweet except for the fact that I know he only says stuff like that when he's stalling for time. Emma was a bit more adventurous - she happily gobbled down the meat, garbanzo beans, and cheese. Baby-pleasing!

How 'bout that toothy grin? You can almost hear her saying "Arrrrr!"

Make this, make this, make this. It would be an incredible first course at an Italian-themed dinner party or eaten as a main dish. Man-pleasing, gal-pleasing, baby-pleasing, crowd-pleasing. Just maybe not toddler-pleasing. But toddlers are super weird about their eating habits.

Antipasto Chopped Salad (aka Nancy's Chopped Salad)
adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen

For the Oregano Dressing:
4 large cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano (it sounds like a lot but the oregano is really supposed to stand out. Decrease it if you're scared!)

For the Salad:
1/2 pound salami, chopped into small cubes
1/2 pound provolone cheese (soft), chopped into cubes
1./2 cup pepperoncini, diced
2-3 large tomatoes, cored, seeds removed, and cut into cubes
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1 medium sized head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 head radicchio, chopped

To make the dressing, combine the garlic through the pepper into a blender. Blend everything until smooth then turn it down to a low speed and drizzle in the olive oil. Continue blending until emulsified. Stir in the oregano. Set aside.

Toss everything together for the salad. Drizzle with the dressing. Toss together again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

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