Vegetarian Italian Chopped Salad

Truly the best Italian chopped salad recipe, with chopped fresh greens and veggies in a simple Italian vinaigrette. This salad is vegetarian and easily vegan. Recipe yields 6 to 8 side servings or 3 to 4 meal-sized servings (a lot). If you store the salad separately from the vinaigrette, it will keep well for up to 4 days.

Vegetarian Italian Chopped Salad

INGREDIENTS
Salad
  1. 10 ounces chopped romaine lettuce* (about 2 medium or 3 small heads, chopped)
  2. ½ medium head of radicchio*, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  3. ½ medium red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  4. 2 ribs celery, chopped
  5. 1 pint cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  6. ⅓ cup stemmed and thinly sliced pickled pepperoncini peppers
  7. ⅓ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and roughly chopped
  8. 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  9. 1 cup (4 ounces) ¼″ cubes of provolone cheese (optional)

Italian vinaigrette
  1. ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  4. 1 teaspoon honey
  5. 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  6. 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  7. 10 twists freshly ground black pepper
  8. ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  9. Pinch of red pepper flakes, for heat (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
  • In a large serving bowl, combine the chopped lettuce, radicchio, onion, celery, cherry tomatoes, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas and cheese (if using). Toss the ingredients together and set aside.
  • To prepare the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk until blended. Taste, and add more salt if the dressing doesn’t knock your socks off (I usually add one to two more pinches of salt).