“Italian Sub” Chop Salad

Sub, hoagie, grinder, hero — whatever you like to call it, Dan is a big fan of this type of sandwich, especially when filled with Italian meats, a little provolone cheese, assorted veggies and accompanied by Italian dressing.  While he likes a good sub sandwich, I’m more of a salad girl.  I especially like a good chop salad, where all the ingredients are chopped up small enough that you get a little taste of each component in every bite.  This salad is a nice compromise between our taste preferences — I get the chop salad texture while Dan gets the Italian sub flavor.  Win win.  Even better, the chop salad is really versatile and can be made with whatever ingredients you prefer or happen to have on hand — no recipe required.  The ingredients that work to create a salad that tastes like a sandwich Dan would order from our local pizza joint include:  lettuce, celery, cucumber, red onion, pepperoncini, kalamata olives, provolone cheese, salami — all tossed with a creamy Italian dressing.


Instead of tearing the lettuce into bite-sized pieces like you would with a regular salad, chop it up into tiny pieces.  We used green leaf lettuce, but you could also use iceberg, red leaf, or whatever kind of lettuce you like.


Chop the celery into tiny pieces.  Include some of the celery leaves (also chopped up) for additional celery flavor.  It’s not really necessary to measure the ingredients for this salad — just include as much or as little of each component as you like.  We really like celery, so we included more of it than some of the other, more strongly flavored ingredients like onions and olives.  We didn’t want any single component to overpower the overall flavor of the salad.


Chop up the cucumber.  We used English cucumber, which you can usually find in most local grocery stores.  This type of cucumber is longer and thinner than regular cucumbers and has very few teeny tiny seeds.  So no need to de-seed before chopping.


Add some chopped red onion.  We prefer red onion for this salad because it’s relatively mild and adds nice color.


Mid-chop of the pepperoncini, we realized we didn’t have as much as we wanted for the salad.  So we combined the pepperoncini we had with some chopped sweet cherry peppers.


Add the chopped kalamata olives…


…and the chopped salami…


…then add some grated provolone cheese.


Toss everything together with a creamy Italian dressing.  We used “Asiago and Cracked Peppercorn” dressing by Cindy’s Kitchen, found at our local grocery store.  You could use whatever kind you like — or even make your own.  This salad is really good served with crusty French bread.  It would also be delicious served in a tortilla as a wrap.  Again, the beauty of the chopped salad is to make and enjoy however you like it.  Although chopping all the ingredients takes a little extra time, the result is well worth the effort to create an entire flavor profile in each single bite.

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