Italian Chopped Salad

Italian Chopped Salad

It’s the end of May.  The farm produce is starting to roll in.  I’ve been waiting to exhale.  While the world is gingerly starting to reopen literally among a global pandemic, there’s something about having access to produce picked the same day that makes me feel a little more optimistic.  I’ve spent this time at home….with a renewed appreciation for how lucky I am to be able to do so….not blogging about food.

There’s no graceful way to segue to this salad.  I’m putting this recipe up because it uses some basic condiments and some common produce, it’s fun to eat, and is quite refreshing.  You can mix up your own dressing or use your favorite bottle of vinaigrette.  I like it with some crusty French bread and a fat glass of Rose.  It’s equally amazing with lemonade or iced tea.

I love romaine and/or little gem lettuce for this salad because they are both crunchy and soft, but iceberg would work, too.  I like to mix my jarred items in with the dressing before pouring it over the salad because I’m lazy.  Your choice of cheese is entirely up to you.  I happened to have shredded parmesan on hand.  Don’t make a special trip to the store just for cheese.  You can use mozzarella, provolone, blue cheese, havarti, etc….or you can skip the cheese.  And it can be shredded, chunked, or cut in strips.

I happened to get my wrinkly hands on some first of the season baby carrots so I added them because….why not?!  Italians eat carrots.  While you’re at it, rinse and snip the carrot tops and add them in with the lettuce mix.  Fresh bell peppers are a no brainer, but they aren’t in season.  Costco has them.  Ok, fine.  If you’re going to be a stickler on every ingredient being in season then use a jar of roasted red peppers instead.  If you’re missing the crunch of fresh peppers, but still want to be a stickler on in season produce only then just make some croutons from all the sourdough bread you all have been making.  You know who you are.

I vary widely on the quantities in this salad because the size of your salad and your personal tastes vary widely.  Customize it!  I added some fresh edible flowers from the farm…thanks for picking those DC Modern Roots!….and some nasturtiums from my own garden.  Did some of your spring produce bolt?  Let them flower.  The bees love vegetable flowers and so will you.

Italian Chopped Salad


For The Dressing:

  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 cup pitted castelvetrano olives cut in half
  • 1 can baby artichokes in water drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced pepperoncini chopped
  • 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For The Salad:

  • 2-4 heads romaine chopped
  • 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2-3 cups radishes chopped
  • 2 cup bell peppers chopped
  • 2 cups cucumbers chopped
  • 1 cup dry salami chopped
  • 1 cup prosciutto chopped optional~diced ham works fine
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1-2 cups garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
  • Fresh edible flowers optional


  • 1.) Mix all the dressing ingredients together an hour ahead, cover, and let it all mascerate together at room temperature.
  • 2.) Toss the remaining ingredients together.
  • 3.) Dress the salad and serve.  Prepare your face for a workout.