Chopped Salad is like the comfort food of salads, don’t you think? I love being able to dig into healthy deliciousness without having to stress about dressing splatters on my clothes or how I’m going to fold lettuce leaves into my mouth. There’s an old rule about how you’re not allowed to cut lettuce, though that is just as outdated as the rule about not cutting potatoes with your knife. Or the one about women not being allowed to drink more than one glass of champagne. But to quote the Dalai Lama: Know the rules well so you can break them effectively. Especially that champagne one!
But let’s move away from etiquette rules back to this chopped salad! I’m calling it Chopped Murray Salad, this being a copycat version of my favorite salad at Ferraro’s, an Italian restaurant in Westfield, NJ. This has chopped romaine, radicchio, kidney beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion and Parmigiano Reggiano, all tied together with a red wine vinaigrette and topped with MORE Parmigiano Reggiano and marinated artichokes. Oh MY! So good.
It’s actually supposed to have avocado in it, but I missed the hour and a half timeframe where my avocados, all three of them, went from being rock hard to rotten, so no avocado for me today.
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp cloudy apple juice
1 clove garlic, finely minced
freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups (150 g) chopped romaine
1 cup (50 g) chopped radicchio
1/3 cup chopped red onion (about 1 medium red onion)
1/2 cup (100 g) canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup (150 g) corn, either fresh and cooked, canned and drained or frozen and thawed
9 oz (250 g) cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup (90 g) finely grated fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
8 oz (230 g) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 avocado, cubed (optional)
In a large jar with a lid, assemble the ingredients for the dressing. Place the lid on the jar and shake throughly until emulsified. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the romaine, radicchio, red onion, kidney beans, corn and quartered cherry tomatoes.
If the dressing has settled, shake it up again.
Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss thoroughly. Add half of the parmesan and toss again.
If serving in a different bowl, on a platter or on separate plates, transfer the salad onto whatever you’re serving it on.
Top with the remaining parmesan, add some freshly ground pepper and dot with the marinated artichoke hearts.
Any leftovers can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for a day or two.