A friend from work recently asked me to check on her house for a week while she was on vacation. Not a problem as she lives just 3-4 blocks from me and I drove by her cute yellow cottage before and after work each day she was gone. Well, that nice lady presented me with the most generous gift for my trouble (which was no trouble at all). A lovely set of two knives; a serrated utility knife and a cheese knife from Cutco. They're just so pretty I hardly wanted to break them out of their box. But that I did today as I decided to put the serrated one to good use making this Italian chopped salad.
Italian Chopped Salad
4 romaine hearts, halved and chopped into small dice
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped into small dice
1/2 peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber
1/2 red onion, chopped into small dice
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped into small dice
8 ounce ball fresh, all natural mozzarella cheese, chopped into small dice
4 ounces (about ¼ pound) Italian dry salami, chopped into small dice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
Combine the romaine hearts through the parsley in a large bowl and set aside in fridge the vinaigrette is made.
Herbed Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Pinch ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
In a medium bowl, add all ingredients through sugar, and whisk to combine; next begin slowly adding the oil, whisking until vinaigrette is emulsified.
Pour the vinaigrette over the chopped salad greens and thoroughly toss to coat; check and adjust the salt/pepper, if necessary, and divide the salad equally among 4 plates.