Friday, March 18, 2011

Test: Mother's Italian Chopped Salad with Dressing

Chopped Salad is my second favourite salad, and another one that I've been eating for as long as I can remember.  We used to go to the Bellevue Square Mall and get a salad very similar to this when I was little, and my mom used to make it all the time at home.  My mom also adds chopped up turkey to her version.  The dressing on this version is homemade, but this salad goes equally well with any type of Italian dressing.

Both the salad and the dressing came from the recipe magazine, "Mother's Best Comfort Food - Great Recipes from Mother's Bistro & Bar" by Lisa Schroeder, Executive Chef/Owner. The restaurant looks fantastic, but is a bit of a trek from Ottawa, located in Portland, Oregon.  Check out their menu or you can purchase a copy of the magazine online here.

Mama's Italian Chopped Salad
From "Mother's Best Comfort Food - Great Recipes from Mother's Bistro & Bar"

1 (9-ounce) head romaine lettuce, sliced crosswise into very thin strips, washed, and dried (about 6 cups)
1 cup drained and rinsed canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 cup pitted whole Niçoise or Kalamata olives or sliced canned black olives (K&K excluded)
1 medium tomato, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
¼ pound (113 grams) provolone cheese, sliced into 1/8-inch thick matchsticks (about 1 cup)
¼ pound Genoa salami, sliced into 1/8-inch thick matchsticks (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
¼ cup Greek/Italian dressing
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, garbanzo beans, olives, tomatoes, onions, provolone, salami, and basil.

2. Pour half of the dressing over the salad to moisten it. Mix gently, adding more dressing if necessary to make the salad moist but not soaked. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and serve.

Mother's Greek/Italian Dressing
From "Mother's Best Comfort Food - Great Recipes from Mother's Bistro & Bar"

2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons dried oregano
6 oil-packed anchovy fillets (K&K excluded)
⅓ cup red-wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the garlic, oregano, and anchovy fillets in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the vinegar and pulse a few more times.

2. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the oils through the feed tube until they're fully incorporated and the dressing is emulsified. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender, or mix by hand with a whisk. The dressing should be thick.

3. Season with the salt and pepper. (If anchovies are used, they will add a degree of saltiness to the dressing, so you won't need much salt). The dressing will keep covered and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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