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Chopped Italian salad on a white plate with a black background



My version of the iconic classic chopped salad from LaScala Restaurant. Cool, crisp lettuce, spicy salami, mozzarella, marinated chickpeas, and tangy dressing make this easy dish a light lunch or perfect first course at dinner.



For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons juice from a jar of pickled banana peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced and mashed with 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the salad:

  • 2 tablespoons minced pickled banana peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 ounces Italian salami, julienned
  • 8 cups torn lettuce leaves-such as romaine and bibb
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
  • grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)


  1. Make the dressing. In a jar, add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic/salt paste, juice from the pickled banana peppers, dry mustard, thyme, oregano, and black pepper. Shake well and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, add the drained chickpeas, minced red onions and 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing. Stir to mix well. Cover and chill at least one hour.
  3. In another small bowl, add the julienned salami, minced banana peppers and another 2 tablespoons of dressing. Cover this bowl as well and chill for an hour.
  4. Finely chop the lettuce leaves and add to a large bowl. Pour about half of the remaining dressing and toss the leaves until well coated. Do not over dress the leaves. Add in the cheeses and tomatoes, if using. Toss to combine.
  5. Divide the salad among four serving plates. Top with the marinated chickpeas and salami.
  6. Serve cold.


*This is a variation of the LA Times printed recipe for LaScala’s Chopped Salad.


  • Serving Size: 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side salad