Mar 2012

Chopped Muffuletta Salad

I’m just back from a reinvigorating week in San Diego and feeling refreshed. We’d convinced ourselves that we love the Pacific Northwest’s dark moody skies and the cozy indoor life the winter weather insists upon, but the body knows better. The effects of this annual process are insidious, beginning with the rich bounty of fall, moving through the celebratory days of December… and ending with the realization it’s been five months since I’ve seen the sun. I have underestimated its power.

Armed with 50 Spf, I headed down to my hometown to see my Dad, some friends and the sun. I didn’t make it to the beach  – but I was there just in time to rescue my friend Darlene from the grips of paint-chip paralysis. It was touch and go, but we settled on a new color and proceeded with brush + roller. She owes me. And in the short week I was away, spring seems to have sprung! Amazing little buds of life have sprouted from my Katsura trees and I will now watch them with great anticipation…

Back to reality and healthy meals. Let’s be honest – as a cheesemonger, I shudder a bit at the sight of cubed cheese, but for a chopped salad I’ll make an exception. Italian Provolone Piccante is not the rubber Provolone we grew up with and is worth searching out at your local cheese shop or Whole Foods. This super hearty salad captures the intense flavor profile of a classic Muffuletta Sandwich but by losing the bread and scaling back the amount of oil in the dressing, it’s lightened enough to indulge to your hearts content…


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24 small pimento stuffed green olives, halved
1 cup of drained,water packed, roasted red peppers, finely diced
4 oz provolone piccante, finely cubed
1/2 cup drained pepperoncini, sliced into rings
2  heads romaine lettuce, chopped
4 oz dry salami, sliced into matchsticks [I used Cremenelli]
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered

3 T olive oil
2 inches anchovy paste
2 T  red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 T dijon mustard
several turns of fresh pepper
1 tsp sugar

Serves 4 . 380 calories.

Combine all of the chopped ingredients in a large bowl. In a mason jar or other sealed container, vigorously shake all of the dressing ingredients to combine. Add to salad and toss well.


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