Italian Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

For this first “Lights, Camera, Eat!” post, I wanted to do more than talk about one specific film, instead I wanted to focus on foreign films and the food made in that culture.  As evident by the title… This time it’s Italy!  Their food, and their films, are absolutely fantastic!

When I was studying for my BA in Film, I was always drawn to film history courses.  My last semester I took a course entitled “Post World War II European Film History” and while there were a few films that I wasn’t the biggest fan of (for instance, “Last Year at Marienbad” is um… interesting to say the least), the Italian films were always the most interesting to me.

For those of you willing to go on both a culinary and cinematic adventure, I suggest you try this delicious Italian Chopped Salad and try watching an Italian film!  For instance, “Umberto D” and “Bicycle Thieves” are two remarkable films by Vittorio de Sica during the Italian Neo-Realist film movement.  Now… These aren’t happy-go-lucky films, but they are absolutely legendary in the film industry and very powerful.

Italian Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette: Serves 6


  • 6 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 small head radicchio, chopped
  • 6 ounces (about 1.5 cups) diced sharp Italian cheese (I used provolone)
  • 1.5 cups of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 6 ounces diced salami
  • 14-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 2/3 cups fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces


  • In a large bowl, combine the romaine, radicchio, cheese, tomatoes, salami, beans, red pepper, red onion, and basil in a large bowl.  Toss well.

Oregano Vinaigrette: Makes about half a cup


  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Whisk the vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper to blend in a small bowl
  • Gradually whisk in the oil

So grab some fresh Italian ingredients and go learn how to read subtitles!  Happy eating!

2 thoughts on “Italian Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

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