Remember that one time I discovered chopped salad and it was the best day ever? And I declared my undying affection for chopped salads and swore to eat nothing but square vegetables for the rest of my days? Then remember how after the best day ever I totally erased the memory of chopped salad from my mind for three months?
Yeah, I don’t either.
Which explains why today I am again declaring chopped salad the best dinner on earth and promising to eat that and only that every day for ever and ever.
That, and dessert (obvs). Even in my most clarifying moments of veggie love I’m not crazy enough to swear off desserts.
With this Mediterranean Chopped Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing, it was love at first taste (again). The veggies are all perfectly distributed. It’s crunchy and crisp and bright and filling-but-light. It’s everything I’ve ever longed for in a summer meal.
When the Mr. cries out, “Why don’t we have this for dinner more often?” you know you’ve done something right. (Unless you’re having brownies for dinner. In which case, you’re doing something terribly, terribly wro…right.)
And this dressing?
Shut. the. front. door.
This may be my favorite homemade dressing yet. I know normally Greek salads are tossed with a light, lemony vinaigrette like this one. But I believe a sturdy chopped salad demands a thick, creamy dressing, and that’s what I went for with this recipe.
A blend of olive oil, balsamic, feta cheese, herbs, and buttermilk makes for a thick, tangy, ultra creamy dressing.
You’ll want to dunk your face in it.
Or just your veggies. Up to you.
This makes enough for two large dinner size salads. The dressing makes enough for 4 salads. Trust me, this is not a bad thing. You’ll want to slap that stuff on sandwiches, dunk baby carrots in it, and quite possibly just lick it straight off a spoon.
You may want to throw in some grape tomatoes or olives if you’ve got them. Or just ditch the vegetables all together and drink the dressing. Did I mention it’s good?
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (or milk, but buttermilk is best, use 1/2 a cup if you want to use this as a dip)
For the salad:
- 1 romaine heart
- 2 leaves curly kale
- 1/2 a red bell pepper
- 1/2 a yellow pepper
- 1/2 a large cucumber, sliced
- 1/2 a yellow squash, sliced
- 1/4 of a red onion, sliced
- 2 slices prosciutto, chopped small
For the dressing:
- Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper and buttermilk in a food processor. Whirl it up until it's nice and smooth. Add the buttermilk, a little bit at a time and pulse until smooth. You control the thickness, so if you want this to be like a dip, just add a little bit. If you want it to be more like a dressing, add the full amount. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the salad:
- Place all the ingredients together on a really huge cutting board. Slice through all of them lengthwise all the way across the cutting board, keeping your slices pretty narrow. Rotate the cutting board 90 degrees then chop the same way. Continue until all the veggies are small and uniform. (Alternatively, you can chop all the ingredients separately and mix at the end)
- Place the chopped salad in a large bowl, then toss. Add salt, pepper, and dressing as desired.
Dressing adapted from Food.com; Salad from Neighborfood