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Winter Italian Chopped Salad with Olives and Pepperoni

The following recipe and photography were provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at Ravenouskitchen.com or in her cookbook, One Pan Whole Family.

Summer salads are great, but winter salads are sublime. More complex than their warm weather cousins, winter salads are hearty and full of crunchy, flavorful greens like romaine and escarole, which are less likely to wilt when dressed.

This salad is a real party in your mouth with citrus, salty olives and roasted fennel, artichoke, chickpeas and pepperoni. I like how the fat renders from the pepperoni in the oven, making it even chewier. Celery adds a welcome crunch along with colorful red cabbage and a simple, orange vinaigrette.

It’s that easy: I purchased a whole pepperoni to make this dish since I wanted nice chunks, but you could just ask the deli server to cut you a chunk and then chop it down as well.

Winter Italian Chopped Salad
Winter Italian Chopped Salad with Olives and Pepperoni

Servings:
6 (as a meal) | 8 (as a side dish)

Ingredients

  • 1 head fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 12 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • One 15-oz can chick peas, drained
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. chopped pepperoni, about 1 cup
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 navel oranges, 1 squeezed and 2 peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup red cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn
  • 1 cup Kalamata or Gaeta olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup Provolone cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. On a large cutting board, slice down the fennel and onion and transfer them to a sheet pan along with the artichoke hearts and chickpeas. Toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the chickpeas are browned, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a smaller pan, roast the pepperoni in the oven until crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
  3. While the vegetables roast, combine the vinegar, garlic and mustard in a large bowl with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Squeeze one of the oranges into the vinaigrette. Set aside.
  4. On the cutting board, peel and dice the remaining 2 oranges, slice the celery and cabbage, chop the parsley and tear the romaine.
  5. Whisk 1/3 cup of the olive oil into the vinaigrette and taste. Add more salt or oil if needed. Toss in the roasted vegetables and pepperoni and mix well. Add the oranges, celery, cabbage, parsley, romaine, olives and cheese and toss again. Taste, adding more salt, pepper or olive oil, if needed. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead: The vegetables can be cooked and the vinaigrette can be made up to a few hours ahead of time and kept at room temperature.

Winter Italian Chopped Salad

Interested in making this recipe? Order the ingredients online for Curbside Grocery Pickup or Delivery.

By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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