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RECIPE:  ITALIAN CHOPPED SALAD

As part of the 'STURDY SALAD LINE', having this salad on hand means a lunch or a side salad at dinner is ready to go.  It's a hit with kids and adults, and besides being delicious, this salad packs a huge nutrient and antioxidant punch.

Get it in you!

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PREP TIME:  30 min

MAKES:  8-9 cups

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SALAD BASIS

  • 2 zucchinis (courgettes), cut into small cubes

  • 1 large carrot, cut into small cubes

  • 1 red onion, finely diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small cubes

  • 1 TASTE OF TUSCANY spice sachet

  • ½ cup (120 ml) olive oil

  • 2 TBSP (30 ml) white wine vinegar

  • 1 TBSP honey (optional)

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • 3/4 to 1 tsp salt (to taste)

FOR SERVING

  • Chopped spinach leaves

  • Chopped cherry tomatoes

  • Toasted pumpkin seeds

  • Parmesan cheese

  • Salt and pepper to taste

MAKE THE SALAD BASIS

 

Mix all salad ingredients (not the serving ingredients) together in a large bowl, transfer to an airtight container and let sit in the refrigerator for at 30-60 minutes to soften and absorb the dressing.

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SERVE

 

Add your chopped spinach and tomatoes to a mixing bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Mix well to just season and soften the spinach. ​

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Remove Chopped Salad 'Basis' from the refrigerator, spoon desired amount into the bowl with the spinach & tomatoes, add parmesan cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds and mix well.

 

Spoon into individual serving bowls and garnish with a few extra seeds and parmesan shreds for looks.

 

See COOK'S NOTES below for portion guidelines.

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COOK'S NOTES

INGREDIENTS: 

Don't skip the cheese and pumpkin seeds!  This salad  is lovely on it's own, but the cheese and pumpkin seeds elevate it to something special, and add a that tiny bit of salty crunch and protien that makes it a satisfying meal on it's own.

 

Red onions in the US tend to be much bigger than red onions in Europe, so you might want to start with half a red onion and adjust to taste.

 

STORAGE:

The chopped salad can last 5 days in the fridge, and in fact, gets better over time as the flavors intensify.

 

The spinach, cheese and seeds get nasty after a few hours, and tomatoes go mushy, which is why I only add them at the time of serving.

 

While this salad keeps for a long time, the natural juices of the vegetables will start to seep out into the salad, which is nice in terms of moisture, but it can dilute the salt-taste in the dressing.  So after a few days, you'll probably want to season with a bit more salt to taste at the point of serving.

SERVING PORTIONS: 

You can take the below as guidelines, but this is all a matter of taste.  If I’m serving this as a side salad next to a hearty meal, then I like to go lighter on the cheese and seeds to give the meal a delicate balance.  If I’m serving this as a main course lunch or dinner (yes, mostly to girls), then I like a bit more cheese and seeds to give it the feeling of a satisfying meal.  I'm sure you'll come to your own 'taste' ratios in time!

 

If serving as a 'main dish', you can start with the following amounts per person:

1 cup (40g) chopped lettuce leaves (spinach and/or romaine, loosely packed)

1 tsp olive oil

pinch of salt

3-4 diced cherry tomatoes (25-35 g)

2-3 Tbsp (12-18 g) shredded parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp (15 g) toasted pumpkin seeds.

1 ½ cup (285 g) of the chopped salad

 

If serving it as a side or starter at dinner, then cut the above 'per person' recommendations in half and adjust to your taste.

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