Without the bread?
Not the same thing, obviously. But this salad from Southern vegetarian authors Amy Lawrence and Justin Fox Burks spoons the same sharp flavors — from marinated olives, vegetables and cheese — onto a bed of romaine lettuce. It’s from their “Low-Carb Vegetarian Cookbook” (Rockridge Press, 2020), and when I made it for a small, socially distanced dinner party on my backyard terrace recently, it got devoured.
I know Burks and Lawrence wouldn’t mind, because they’re two of the friendliest people in the business, but I added plenty of carbs back to the meal by serving the salad with pizza. The combination was just perfect. If you want to go a step further and make it into a sandwich, with whatever other components you’d like, none of us would fault you for that, either.
Make Ahead: The salad, before serving on the romaine, needs to marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Storage Notes: The marinated vegetables can be refrigerated — separate from the lettuce — for up to 4 days before serving. Leftovers that include the lettuce will get soggy.
- 3 cups (16 ounces) pitted spicy mixed marinated olives (such as green, black, kalamata or a mix), drained
- 2 cups (8 ounces) small cauliflower florets
- 2 large celery ribs
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
- 12 pickled pepperoncini, drained and stemmed
- One (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
- 3 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) cubed provolone cheese
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning blend
- 6 cups (10 ounces) chopped romaine lettuce
In the bowl of a food processor, using the slicer blade, slice the olives, cauliflower, celery, carrot and pepperoncini. (You can do this by hand if you don’t have a food processor.)
Transfer the sliced vegetables to a 3-quart nonreactive container. Add the red peppers, tomatoes, cheese, garlic, oil, vinegar, mustard and Italian seasoning. Toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 days to let the mixture marinate. (It’s best to make it at least 1 day before serving so the flavors meld.)
To serve, use a slotted spoon to scoop the marinated vegetables and some of the marinade onto the romaine.
Adapted from “Low-Carb Vegetarian Cookbook” by Amy Lawrence and Justin Fox Burks (Rockridge Press, 2020).
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