We are moments away from a weekend filled with picnics, BBQs…front stoops with blankets and chilled wine. Moments from all and every kind of last chance let’s give summer a big ol’ long hug goodbye type of eating situations. Yup, I’m pretty thrilled too!

Now is not the time to frantically make a grocery list and plot your 5 course send off.

Now is, however, the time to open those doors and run outside to embrace the last of lingering golden light.

How about we make a pact? Let’s spend more time with our friends and family this weekend rather than in the kitchen prepping for said celebrations.

How about we  just take a big ol’ time out and make chopped salad.

Yup I said it. Let’s get crazy and throw our hands up in the air like that and take the easy road. Don’t worry, I’ll make you a promise: we’re not going to make any ordinary chopped salad. We’re going to make my savory and bright chopped salad with oregano vinaigrette.

Lettuce  may or may not be invited to the party….just go with it.

 //1// Triangle Wood Cutting Boards Handcrafted by Luke Bartels  //2// Florentine Kitchen Knives
 

Where the ingredients are few, the flavors are far from simple. This is the kind of salad that will surprise people, take them by the tongue and make them ask ‘what on earth is going on here’!?

In a positive way, obviously. I’m not one to lead friends down a dead end path, promise.

I will in turn lead you to salad victory!!

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Chopped Salad Ingredients

  • 1 small tin chickpeas or white beans, drained and washed
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat parsley
  • 1 tomato, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 pepperonis chopped
  • 4 stalks celery chopped
  • Generous amounts of fresh cracked pepper

**Toss these beauts in a bowl and let’s focus on what really makes this (and any) salad sing – the vinaigrette!

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 //1//Berino Serving Bowl //2// Profi Plus Silicone Ball Whisk //3// Danish Modern Muddler

OOOookay. So maybe I left out that whole anchovy paste part on purpose. I didn’t want you to immediately delete me from your feed and throw sand in my face. Anchovies have a way of turning people against each other for some reason. Those little guys get such a bad rap.

I’m not trying to be sneaky. I’m just trying to lull you into the idea of how magical this ingredient can be in your kitchen tool box. It’s salty, not overly briny and yet a perfectly perky way to boost a variety of sauces, dressing and stocks.

I will convince you yet!

For those of you who are already on this taste tube-train: High five! You’re going to love this dressing.

Similarly, for those of you brave enough to try for the first time: High five! You’re going to love it too.

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Oregano Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 1-2 TBS anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 2-3 TBS fresh oregano
  • Splash of white wine vinegar (if needed for additional brightness)

Directions

  • Add ingredients into a small mixing bowl or measuring bowl
  • muddle capers, oregano and anchovy paste in the bottom of the bowl
  • Whisk together and add cracked black pepper
  • Pour over chopped mixture above and let sit for 10 minutes tossing occasionally
  • Serve using a slotted spoon to remove excess liquids

**If you are absolutely no way Jose apposed to using above mentioned ingredient: Substitute for a few extra capers, a splash of caper juice, a small pinch of sea salt and call it a day. But I urge you to give anchovy paste a go at least once or you’ll be missing out on the unique brine flavors that only this tiny little tube can offer. Trust!

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There you have it! A rustic chopped veg salad with a powerful and unexpected vinaigrette. This side show is sure to steal the main stage and please your guests or beach blanket crashers. Just think! You whipped it all up  in under 15 minutes to boot.

No muss, no fuss…just flavorful ingredients and a whole beautiful day ahead of you. Let’s grab a big pitcher of iced tea and get outside to enjoy the last of the summer sun! Have a safe and amazing holiday!

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Serve alone as a spunky side salad or mix with chopped romaine lettuce for a main dish topped with lemon herb grilled chicken or tuna.

Looking for more Side Shows to sing on your plate’s stage? Here are a few faves!