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Crunchy Italian Salad with Crispy Salami and Pita Croutons

By Cindy Rahe
Created January 10, 2017
Crisp salami, garlic and pita croutons; combine with bold condiments to make this salad a fresh and flavorful meal in itself.

Let’s talk salads. To be specific, let’s talk fully loaded, textural wonder-type salads with bold toppings and tangy dressings. I will forever love a salad full of lots of interesting and contrasting flavors and texture. Bring on the crisp, crunchy, fresh, tangy, savory and bright! I’ve had many salads of simply dressed greens out at restaurants that accompany a bolder dish, but at home I love to make salads that are the meal themselves. The type that combines all sorts of flavor and texture to make something that is just as satisfying as any other meal. 

I’m the kind of girl that can never resist some good crunch and crisp, so this salad with its crispy salami bits, crunchy croutons, hearty chickpeas, fresh lettuce and tangy-sweet condiments is kind of a salad-dream come true. The dressing for this salad is a teensy bit sweet, a lot tangy, and combined with sweet-pickled peppers, buttery olives and bright onion, it’s the perfect dressing to cut through the richness of the salami and garlicky croutons. This salad really is delicious and comes together with just a little prep. 

To start, I like to make the croutons. You can even make these a day or so ahead and store in an airtight container. We begin by grating a clove of garlic on a handy Zester Grater by Microplane.


To that, we grate in lots of Romano cheese. It’s a bit funky and a lot delicious.


Then, we toss some torn pita with olive oil, the garlic and Romano before spreading it all on a baking sheet and popping it into the oven until golden and toasty.


Next, it’s time shake up the dressing. It’s as easy as grating some garlic into a jar and tossing in vinegar, olive oil, a touch of maple, salt and pepper.


Finally, assembly time! We toss together some crisp romaine with chickpeas, red onion, sweet-pickled peppers, croutons, the oven-crisped salami instructions for crisping in the recipe below), olives, the dressing and a good dose of cheese.


That’s it! Time to plate it up and serve.