This Italian Chopped Kale Salad combines kale, radicchio, and romaine with all of the delicious goodies typical of an Italian chopped salad and a tangy Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette.
I love a good chopped salad, don’t you?
The first time I ever had a chopped salad was when I was working at an Italian hotel restaurant in San Diego. It was the lunch rush, and the line needed my help.
A large group from a local office had just ordered several pizzas, pasta dishes, and salads. I got put in charge of the chopped salads.
I had never really even seen a chopped salad before. Was its sole reason for existence to be just more convenient to eat? Was it for people who particularly loathed having to cut up their own food? Was this a California thing? I was new to San Diego, and we certainly didn’t have chopped salads in New Jersey. This was 10 years ago, and to be honest, it was hard to find a good salad at all in Jersey that wasn’t a soggy, lifeless afterthought.
But whatever a chopped salad was, it looked delicious. And after plating about 20 of them, I decided to make myself one for lunch. It was so good. Since everything was—literally—chopped up into equal pieces, it gave each fork-full the perfect ratio of flavors.
I became kind of obsessed with chopped salads after that. And I’m still mad at Trader Joe’s for discontinuing this awesome version they sold. Why, Trader Joe’s, why?
Fine, I’ll make my own!
So gorgeous and colorful already.
So, let’s call this Italian Chopped Kale Salad an ode to my San Diego salad-slinging days. I feel like chopped salads are simply the best in Italian form. Probably because I’m pretty much obsessed with the goodies that come in an Italian chop. Olives, salami, provolone, fresh tomato, marinated artichokes, pepperoncini, chickpeas. What’s not to love?
What I love most about this salad is the truly balanced and harmonic flavors, as if everything in this salad was meant to be together. The slightly bitter kale and radicchio, the sweet-yet-tangy Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette, the salty cheese, the pickled peppers.
You don’t typically find kale in an Italian chopped salad, but I love the sturdiness and earthy note it brings to the dish.
Easily make this salad vegetarian by leaving out the salami. It’s just as good.
and here’s a few things you may need for this recipe!
This post contains affiliate links, but are always products I highly recommend + use myself.
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about one large lemon)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 bunch hearts of romaine, chopped
- 1 bunch kale, stems and ribs removed, chopped
- 1 cup chopped radicchio lettuce
- 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ⅓ cup chopped pepperoncini
- 2.5 ounces Calabrese salami, sliced into thin ribbons
- 4 ounces provolone, sliced into thin ribbons
- ¾ cup chopped marinated artichokes
- 1 cup sliced black olives
- Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously until combined and emulsified.
- Wash the romaine leaves, radicchio, and kale. Stem the kale and chop all of the lettuce into equal bite-sized pieces.
- Slice or chop all of the ingredients according to the above instructions.
- Toss and combine all of the salad ingredients with the dressing until thoroughly mixed.
- You can use as much dressing to your taste. I used ¾ of the dressing, but you may need all of it depending on how large your kale and romaine bunches were.
- Garnish the salad bowls with freshly-cracked pepper and oregano.
- Store any leftover dressing (if you have any) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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