I’ve mentioned once or twice that vinegary things have been my jam this pregnancy. Give me all the banana peppers and olives and salad, please. My last pregnancy, we lived relatively close to a restaurant that has the most amazing vinegary salad and I’ve been craving it almost every week. Sadly, the restaurant is about an hour and a half from where we live now, so it’s hard to get down there as often as I would like.
After a bad craving a few weeks ago, I caved and decided to try my hand out at making it myself, and it turned out really well! Thankfully, I took some (loose) notes so that I could share it with all of you, so that maybe you could get some veggies in in between all of the Reese’s pumpkins and candy corn. 😉
First, I started by looking at the menu. I needed to remember what was in it! Check this out: “Romaine lettuce, escarole, red onion, sweet & hot vinegar peppers, provolone, mixed beans, artichoke hearts, fresh tomato, red wine vinaigrette” I usually order it with grilled chicken as well. It’s huge and amazing, and man do I want one right now.
I knew that most of the salad was premade – when I first ordered it I tried to get it sans hot peppers, but I couldn’t, so I started there. I decided make a big bowl of the “topping” that I could let marinate and put on top of a bowl of greens and eat all week (as I do when I make food..) So, armed with my grocery list, I went out to make my dream salad.
Please note, I used this red wine vinaigrette but minus the oil and multiplied (so that there was enough) because I wanted it super vinegary, but if you’re a normal human being, you should use the normal recipe as posted. Also, left overs are SO good if you add pasta and refrigerate to make a delicious pasta salad!
Chopped Marinated Italian Salad
1 can each chickpeas, white beans, kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 roma tomato
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
Hot vinegar peppers
Sweet roasted red peppers
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup olives (I got an assortment of unpitted olives from the olive bar because it’s cheaper and you can get a variety. Just don’t use plain black olives that aren’t vinegary/tart/delicious!)
In a medium bowl, assemble this red wine vinaigrette x2. This will both marinate your topping and you can spoon the excess on to the salad.
Chop all ingredients as you desire – I sliced the artichoke hearts and olives, and large dived most everything else. As for amounts of peppers, try to keep it about the amount of each type as the amount of chopped tomato. Since I always overdo it in salads, I used that as my rule of thumb for how much of each ingredient to add.
Add to the bowl with the dressing and mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. If you can do more, it really pays to stir it every so often.
When you’re ready to eat, add to a bowl of greens (I did chopped romaine here) and grilled chicken if desired. Enjoy!