Saturday, April 20, 2024

Italian Chopped Salad Sandwich

An Italian chopped salad of lettuce, assorted Italian meats, black forest smoked ham, salami and provolone cheese, finished with olive salad and a homemade creamy Italian dressing, served on a hoagie or sub bun.

Italian Chopped Salad Sandwich

Y'all may remember this sandwich circulating on social media awhile back. I think it started as a TikTok Italian grinder sandwich with all of the meats layered up on a roll like you'd get at any good sandwich shop. From there, it appears that somebody thought to chop it all up together like a salad and then pile it on a bun.


As always, multiple variations arose from whatever the original was as everybody put their own spin on it. Most of them actually do chop up the tomato with the rest of the ingredients but I really didn't want the juices of the tomatoes mixed it, so I opted for adding the tomatoes sliced to dress the final sandwich, if someone wanted them and then finished with a creamy dressing.
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As an old school kinda gal, I have to admit there are some viral food trends I've seen on social media that are questionable at best, and often, it appears, meant primarily to generate clicks and likes for income.

How many times have you been caught up to watch a video of something on Reels or Shorts, only to end with the thought that it was the dumbest thing you've ever seen? Guilty. But, I guess there are people making money on views no matter how dumb something really is.

Others are often just regurgitating old methods and ideas as if they were new, though mostly us older folks are the only ones who recognize that.

I admit that I've never been in the consumer category of an Innovator or even an Early Adopter when it comes to new trends. I'm more of a Late Majority or even, well... a Laggard! 

Hey I had to reach back into my business education studies from a millions of years ago for that y'all. 

So, I'm a little slow on the uptake when it comes to those food trends. Every once in awhile though, there's something that passes by that seems unique and this idea was a winner! I loved the way the flavors blended in this sandwich from chopping everything together like a chopped salad. It really made a difference and I think this idea will roll over well with a variety of salads even.

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Here's how I made my Italian Chopped Salad Sandwich.

Rather than going with a bunch of individual slices of Italian meats from the deli, I decided to go with a Italian Style Charcuterie mix that's pretty much available everywhere these days because of the charcuterie trend. I even saw a video the other day that had a bowl of mixed snack foods - meat, cheese, nuts, cracker and fruit - that they called an individual charcuterie board for one! You can even find individual boards (#ad) on Amazon and Etsy.

These packages contain a mix of Italian meats and this one had hot calabrese, peppered salami and hot capocolla, perfect for this sandwich! By the way, the measurements for the meats are just a guideline. You can use more, or less as you desire.

For the dressing, I'm using a creamy Italian style made with either a homemade or commercial Italian dressing with mayonnaise, mustard, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and paprika. You could use a base of extra virgin olive oil, but I found that it really needed the contrast of sugar found in a commercial salad dressing or a submarine dressing (#ad), which also contains some sugar. Use what you like!

Whisk that all together, taste and adjust as needed and set aside.

I usually make my salads with romaine lettuce, or sometimes a mix of romaine with iceberg and often the addition of spring greens. For this chopped salad, I decided to use iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce gets a really bad rap as having "no nutritional value" and even I believed that for years, but it's just an untruth. Iceberg contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, a nutrient that is important for bone and blood health and it has other benefits too. Plus, you just can't beat the crunch!

You can use bagged already shredded lettuce as well, of course, but if using a fresh head, pull off the outer leaves, remove the core, tear into large pieces, rinse and spin. If you don't have a salad spinner (#ad), you should get one!

On a large cutting board spread out the torn lettuce into an oblong shape. Top with onion.

Top the lettuce with layers of the provolone and meats as follows. Provolone first.

Topped with slices of black forest ham.

Top with the Italian meats.

End with salami.

You really need a good knife for this, so pull out your best large, sharp chef’s knife (#ad) or meat cleaver, and begin chopping the meats and cheeses into the lettuce without moving it much.

Continue chopping and chopping until you've released your aggressions.

Since we're making an Italian style sandwich, I decided to add some Italian olive salad (#ad), that is used on our beloved muffulettas. Pepperoncini peppers are a nice addition too.

Add the peppers or olive salad - or both if you like!

Reserve half of the dressing and sprinkle the other half all over the chopped salad.

Continue chopping and mixing together, reforming into an oblong shape. This just makes it easier to pick up and transfer sections of the chopped salad to your sandwich rolls.

Looks so good y'all!

I'm using sub rolls today but a whole Italian loaf would work as well. Split the bread or rolls and apply an even thin layer of the remaining dressing on the cut sides of the bread or rolls. Use a spatula or bench scraper to scoop up sections of the chopped salad and transfer to the bread or rolls.

Sprinkle on additional dressing and dress with sliced tomatoes, if desired. You can also chop up the tomatoes with everything else but I didn't want my salad to get too watery from the juices of the tomato all mixed in.

For more of my favorite sandwiches, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!

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Posted by on April 20, 2024
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