It has been heating up in NYC, which has been making our apartment feel like my own personal sauna. We do have air conditioners, but I am fighting it, because I feel like I really need to embrace the summer a bit since the winter was so brutal. I will admit though that we have been using the one in our bedroom at night to help us sleep…it has also been doing wonders on drowning out the city noise. As a result of this sweaty weather, it has been making me crave all things salad. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to eat only a salad for dinner, I want that salad to be jam-packed with a ton of magical goodies. It probably takes the healthy aspect out of eating a salad, but hey, I am eating a salad. 🙂
This recipe is inspired by all of the amazing chopped salads that you see in restaurants. I always want to order them, but being a vegetarian kind of takes the excitement out of restaurant style chopped salads. After I minus all the meat and the olives (yes, I am a crazy vegetarian that can’t seem to get herself to like olives), I am left with a sad-looking salad that has a couple sprinkles of cheese and hard boiled egg on it that I paid $12 for…FAIL!
So for this salad, I am making up for all of the chopped salads that I could never order and I loaded it with every veggie that I had hiding in my fridge. As an added bonus, I added some pepper jack cheese and some field roast deli slices to add a little extra sass. I also whipped up my own dressing, and to my surprise this salad actually ended up tasting like and amazing Italian sub!
I grew up in Michigan eating Tubby’s Italian Sub Sandwiches, gosh I miss them! The secret to the Tubby’s Subs is definitely in the dressing, which is basically vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and oregano. I have to say that this dressing comes close, but it also packs a lovely garlic punch. The recipe below will feed four people and you will have enough leftovers the next day (which you will be happy about after you try this recipe).
Yay, for Italian Sub Salad!
Italian Sub Dressing
- 1.5 TBS Dried Oregano
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1.5 Tsp. Salt
- 6 cloves garlic
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 Can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 C Cucumber, chopped
- 1 Small Sweet Onion, peeled and sliced into paper-thin rings
- 1 C Broccoli, chopped
- 1 C Red Pepper, chopped
- Pepper Jack Cheese or your cheese of choice, as much as your little heart desires.
- 1 Pkg. Field Roast Lentil Sage Deli Slices or Real Salami, sliced into strips
- 10 Small Pickled Pepperoncini, sliced into rings (save juice and seeds)
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 1 C Curly Kale, ribs removed and cut into thin strips
- 3 C Romaine Lettuce, cut into thin strips
- 1 Head Radicchio, halved, cored and cut into thin strips
- 1/2 C Quinoa, cooked
- Dried oregano, for garnish
- 1 Hard Boiled Egg, per person, sliced (optional)
- 1/4 Avocado, per person, sliced (optional)
*Note – Feel free to add whatever veggies you want, I used what I had in my fridge, but this salad would be great with any combination of veggies. Also to make this recipe paleo, just drop the cheese.*
- Roughly chop the garlic on a cutting board and then add the oregano, salt and a 1/2-teaspoon ground pepper on top of the garlic on the cutting board.
- Chop the mixture together until the garlic is super fine.
- Transfer garlic mixture to a large salad bowl, and add the lemon juice and vinegar.
- Mix with a fork or whisk allowing the salt to dissolve, then add the oil and whisk with a fork until well combined.
- The dressing should be thick. You can leave it like this, but if you like a smoother dressing run it quickly through your food processor or magic bullet.
- Adjust the oregano, and vinegar to taste if needed.
- Transfer the dressing to a small jar and set in the fridge.
- In a large salad bowl add the chickpeas, onion, cucumber, broccoli, red pepper, cheese (either cubed or shredded), field roast or salami slices, pepperoncini (including seeds and juice).
- Add half of the dressing to the bowl of ingredients above and gently toss.
- Gently add the romaine, kale, radicchio and quinoa to the salad bowl, along with a couple of generous pinches of oregano, and toss to combine with the dressing.
- Adjust seasonings to taste, adding any reserved dressing if needed. Serve immediately.
- Top each individual salad with the tomatoes, the optional avocado and hard-boiled egg slices and eat the heck out of it.
Enjoy your Italian Sub Salad!