If you asked me about the heartiest, dinner worthy salad that I make, my answer would be Italian Salad. This Italian Salad recipe is lighter than a sandwich, with beans for heft rather than bread, but it’s equally satisfying.
I made a couple of tweaks to her recipe, adding kalamata olives, using cannellini beans instead of chickpeas, and making the dressing slightly more astringent because I love a vinegary bite. I suggest you do the same. This salad is amiable to most any variety of olive, bean, cured meat or cheese that you love, so make it your own!
Definitely note the Italian Salad Dressing recipe – it’s a go to for me for all kinds of green and pasta salads – especially my favorite Italian Pasta Salad. Just the right amount of smooth spice and vinegar kick!
For the Italian Salad Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 small clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Italian Salad:
- 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans drained (or 1 1/2 cups home cooked)
- 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
- 2 ounces Pecorino Romano or provolone cheese diced small
- 3 ounces salami sliced into thin ribbons
- 6 oil packed sun dried tomatoes coarsely chopped
- 12 kalamata olive pitted and coarsely chopped
To make the dressing:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic, shallot and Italian seasoning. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
For the salad:
- Place cannelini beans in a large salad bowl. Add dressing and gently stir to combine. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Add chopped romaine to beans and toss gently to incorporate beans and coat lettuce with dressing. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over and serve.