Chef Salad, Italian Style

Well I was really in the mood for an Antipasto or maybe a salad. I had a few cups of Pasta Fagioli left over and was kind of tired. You ever have those times where you want something and stand in front of the fridge wondering... "A quick and easy meal that would satisfy my craving but not be too much work" I came up with this salad and to my surprise, it was a big hit with the boys! In my house there's all men. Even the dog is a male. Anyway, a wonderful chef's salad with an Italian flare is my kind of salad. Not just an antipasto plate but a bowl full of fresh, crisp greens combined with the antipasto ingredients makes for a wonderful Italian meal.

You will need:
small head iceburg lettuce
small head Romaine lettuce
small head escarole
4 oz pepperoni slices
4 oz can sliced black olives
8 oz provolone cheese, cut into small cubes
2 ripe tomatoes cut into wedges
1/2 head cauliflower, slightly cooked and cooled
grated Romano cheese
olive oil
wine vinegar
basil, fresh or dried
garlic powder

Wash all vegetables and drain well. First, steam cauliflower until it is barely soft. Remove and refrigerate. Tear lettuces equally, judging how much of each, which is dependent upon the size of salad. Typically I use about 1/4 of each. Add the vegetables, pepperoni, and provolone cheese, then toss. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Chop basil if using fresh. Sprinkle with basil and grated cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss. Sprinkle with wine vinegar. Take care not to allow vinegar to puddle in bottom of the bowl. Add olive oil and toss several times to mix spices with oil and vinegar, coating all. All ingredients should look wet, with very little dressing collecting under the salad. Add oil and vinegar until this is achieved. Taste, add more salt, pepper, and grated Romano cheese to taste.

I like to serve this with a cup of Pasta Fagioli and some crusty Italian bread. It really can be a great addition to any Italian meal.

Buon appetito! = Enjoy your meal!

(as I originally posted

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