Friday, January 1, 2010

Chicago-Style Garbage Salad

Adapted from Steak with Friends, at home, with Rick Tramonto.

I’m not gonna lie, there’s a lot of chopping required for this meal, and it can be time-consuming. You can prepare a lot of it in advance when you have a spare minute. You can also take some shortcuts, such as using jarred roasted peppers and pre‐cut fresh veggies from the produce section. This recipe is totally adaptable to whatever is in your fridge—it’s kind of a use‐it‐up recipe. Throw in what you have, it’s hard to go wrong
with a garbage salad.

The dressing is easy though, and well worth it! Unless you know you will go through the entire salad in one sitting, I suggest dressing each plate individually and then tossing thoroughly. That way the leftovers won’t get soggy and go to waste. I am a huge fan of Rick Tramonto, so here’s my tribute to his salad:

Serves 6 as a meal, 10 as a side – can easily be halved.

    ½ head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
    2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
    1 diced cucumber
    1 bunch thinly sliced radishes
    1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
    1 roasted yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
    3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
    3 carrots, thinly sliced
    10 oz salumi (such as finocchiona, Calabrese, or sopressata), thinly siced and julienned
    ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
    4 pepperocini or banana peppers, sliced
    ½ cup macadamia nut pieces (or another nut of your choice)
    freshly ground black pepper
    flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
    Tramonto’s House Dressing (paleo-style, directions below.)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together lettuces, cucmber, radishes, red and yellow peppers, celery, tomatoes, and onion.
  2. Add salumi and toss to mix.
  3. Add olives, pepperocini (or banana peppers), and macadamias and toss again.
  4. Spoon dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Garnish with parsley and freshly ground pepper.

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