Spring is in the air, and that means salad season is here! I want lots of big, beautiful, fresh salads full of awesome, yummy ingredients. With Easter around the corner, we’re all on the lookout for delicious dishes to make for a big group dinner, so I’ve decided to share this Big Italian Salad with you just for the occasion.
My boyfriend is half Italian so over the years my consumption of olives, cured meat and artichokes has increased, and you could say, they have added more flavour to my life (though, he might have a little something to do with that too!). We try our very best to eat salads regularly, but find it challenging to keep ‘em interesting. There’s only so much tomato and cucumber you can consume before you hit a salad slump. And let’s face it, when all is said and done, I’m a meat and carbs kind of gal.
But the great thing about my Big Italian Salad is, it has meat! And cheese! The parmesan and salami add just the right amount of salty creaminess. Fresh romaine lettuce and bitter radicchio are topped with sweet bursts of cherry tomatoes, crunchy licorice-infused fennel and velvety artichokes. Finally, the bright pop of the olives brings the whole salad to life.
This, my friends, is not your average, boring salad.
A light, lemony vinaigrette that incorporates some of the artichoke marinade ties the whole dish together. Before you can say “you can’t make friends with salad” you’ll be happily chowing down on a big mouthful of all things Italian.
Big Italian Salad
For the salad
- 1 small head of Romaine lettuce roughly chopped
- 1 small radicchio finely chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 half fennel thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup green and kalamata olives pitted and finely sliced
- 2 ounces salami or your fave cured meat finely diced
- 227 grams marinated artichokes finely sliced, marinade reserved
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggianocheese grated
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons marinade from the artichokes
- 1 half lemon juiced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all the ingredients except for the cheese in a large bowl.
In a food processor or medium bowl combine all the dressing ingredients except for the oil. Slowly add oil while whisking or mixing on low.
Drizzle dressing over salad and sprinkle cheese over top. Toss and serve immediately.
I could seriously eat this entire bowl in one sitting. The salad is so fresh and lightly dressed that all the other flavours are allowed stand out, and it’s addictive. But, one must learn to share, so here you go my friends, some salad to go with your roasted ham.