Tuscan Salad with Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Big.Green.Salad. That's all I want when it starts to get hot. But, it not only needs to be refreshing, it also needs to be satisfying. Chop, chop because this salad has it all; tang, zest, crunch, and fresh! Get out your biggest bowl and a knife because you will be reaching for this recipe over and over again well into the fall.
A note about vinaigrette dressings - "eye ball it" is the way to go. My recipes are a guide to get you started. If it's too heavy on the vinegar, add a bit more oil and maybe some additional sweetener. If it's too heavy on the oil, add more vinegar, or balance with some salt or mustard. The key is to blitz and then taste and adjust till you like the taste; that's your vinaigrette and the salad will taste better for it!
Last but not least, always being mindful about sustainable choices, this Sustainability Spotlight highlights the salad recipe's ability to minimize food waste. I use the romaine core (I know many throw it out); it adds texture and a little bitter flavor that most salads need to be fully "complete" for your taste buds. Same with the cucumber, don't peel and use even the ends. I meal plan with re-use for the other half of my red onion, and the used lemons can still flavor water (cut and drop into a water infuser). I also don't use "half" or a cup of the cans I open for the olives and the beans; I use both in full. The pepperoncini peppers stay in a glass jar in the fridge and can top sandwiches for my husband during the week. Your budget and the planet thanks you for considering the maximization of flavor while minimizing the food we purchase / open to make our flavorful meals.
1 shallot (chopped)
4-5 garlic cloves (chopped)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp stone ground mustard
1 small lemon (juiced)
2 tsp agave syrup
salt & black pepper (to taste); start at 1/4 tsp
pinch of oregano
dash of red pepper flakes
1 large head romaine lettuce (finely chopped)
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (quartered)
1/4 cup julienne cut Greek style pepperoncini peppers (coarsely chopped)
1 can chickpeas (rinsed & drained) - I use Goya garbanzo beans; nothing else compares to the size (large) and texture (creamy)!
1 cucumber (chopped)
1 can green olives (coarsely chopped) - Lindsay Naturals are my favorite!
1/2 red onion; sliced thin
2 tbsp organic hemp seeds
Add all salad ingredients above to a extra large salad bowl
Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a personal blender (Hamilton Beach makes a great one) and blitz until emulsified and slightly foamy in texture.
Pour vinaigrette over salad and mix well; serve immediately
I hope you enjoy this very big, very bold, very yummy salad as much as we did tonight! Let me know how it turned out for you; I'd love to hear your feedback.
With love & hope for a better future for us all - Jamie