Italian Chopped Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Salami In Herbed Red Wine Vinaigrette with Garlic Toast Wedge

(Serves 4)

Salad ingredients:

4 romaine hearts, halved and chopped into small dice
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped into small dice
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped into small dice
½ red onion, chopped into small dice
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped into small dice
8 ounce ball fresh, all natural mozzarella cheese, chopped into small dice
4 ounces (about ¼ pound) Italian dry salami, chopped into small dice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 slices French bread or other rustic bread
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, papery skin removed and halved
• Pinch salt/pepper

Preparation:

-Combine the romaine hearts through the parsley in a large bowl and set aside in fridge while Garlic Toast wedges and the vinaigrette are made.

-Make Garlic Toast wedges by toasting the slices of bread until golden brown; once toasted, drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto each slice, and rub the garlic clove half liberally over both slices; sprinkle with a pinch of salt/pepper, and cut the toast on the bias to make four wedges total; set aside as the salad garnish.

Herbed Red Wine Vinaigrette ingredients:

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
• Pinch ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

-In a medium bowl, add all ingredients through sugar, and whisk to combine; next begin slowly adding the oil, whisking until vinaigrette is emulsified.

To Assemble:

-Pour the vinaigrette over the chopped salad greens and thoroughly toss to coat; check and adjust the salt/pepper, if necessary, and divide the salad equally among 4 plates; garnish each with a Garlic Toast wedge.