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Chopped Salad

For the vinaigrette:

2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons dried oregano

Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon), or more to taste

2 medium cloves garlic, 1 smashed and 1 grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil


For the Salad:

1/2 small red onion, cut in half from top to bottom

1 head romaine lettuce

1 bok choy

1 pint small, sweet cherry tomatoes, such as Sun Golds or Sweet 100s, cut into quarters

1 1/2 cups no-salt-added chickpeas, drained

1/4 pound aged provolone (or your favorite white cheese), cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, then cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

1/4 pound salami, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, then cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips

5 pepperoncini (stems discarded), cut into thin slices (about 1/4 cup)

Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon), or more to taste

salt


For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the vinegar, oregano, lemon juice, the smashed garlic and grated garlic and the salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes (to marinate the oregano). Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to form an emulsified vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning, and add salt or lemon juice as needed. The yield is a generous 1 1/2 cups; you'll use up to 1/2 cup for this salad, and the remainder can be refrigerated for another use (up to 3 days). In these small increments it's basically impossible to make just one half cup of vinaigrette.


For the salad: Separate the layers of the onion and stack two or three layers on top of one another, then cut them lengthwise into 1/16-inch-wide strips. Repeat with the remaining onion layers. Place the onion in a small bowl of ice water to sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Drain the onion and pat dry with paper towels before adding to the salad.

Cut the lettuce in half through the core, remove the hard core by taking one leaf at a time off of the romaine. Separate the lettuce leaves, stack two or three leaves on top of one another, then cut them lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Repeat with the remaining leaves; thinly slice the bok choy in the same way. Cut the tomatoes in half, season them with salt to taste, and toss gently.


Combine the lettuce, bok choy, tomatoes, chickpeas, provolone, salami, peperoncini and onion in a large, wide bowl. Season with salt to taste, and toss to thoroughly combine. Drizzle 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the salad, then sprinkle with the lemon juice; toss gently to coat the salad evenly. Taste, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, plus salt and/or lemon juice as needed.





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