Home Made

Two Hearts Italian Chopped Salad



Ah, love…  Just the thought of it makes your heart beat a little faster.  Sure, there’s candy, and flowers, but what about making something special for someone you love?   Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and it made me think of one of my favorite romantic places.   We spent several of our newly married years living in Phoenix, Arizona.  Young, and broke, we stretched our money as far as it would go, but every so often, it would not go far enough.  In those days, fast food restaurants did not take credit cards (hard to believe, right?), and so being out of cash meant going out on the town.  One of the places that we loved to go was the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale.  This was an experience not to be missed.  In addition to getting a great meal (that you could charge on your credit card), their very cool Italian restaurant gave you 2 tickets for a Gondola ride on the beautiful moonlit waters surrounding the resort.  What could be more romantic than that?  Equally romantic, and not to be missed, was the dinner salad.  It had hearts of palm and artichoke hearts – two hearts, get it? – and it was sooo good!

Fast forward 25 plus years.  The restaurant is still there, but it has a different name.  I scanned their menu online, but they don’t have this memorable salad anymore.  I tried to recreate it, and then I wondered if I might have saved something from the last time we were there.  Sure enough, I had a brochure from the hotel, circa 1991, that included the salad recipe alongside a description of the gondola rides.

Looking for a little added romance for your Valentine’s dinner?  Make this salad for someone you love.  Be sure to use use artichoke hearts that are packed in water and not the ones marinated in olive oil.  If you don’t have prosciutto, sliced dry salami will do just fine.

Two Hearts Italian Chopped Salad

Combine artichokes, hearts of palm, parsley, and prosciutto in a medium sized bowl.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to combine.  Cover and transfer to fridge until ready to serve.  Combine balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and sugar in a small jar and shake to mix well.  Transfer chopped Romaine to a large bowl.  Add mix of chopped ingredients from fridge and toss lightly to combine.  Dress with 3 tablespoons of dressing and toss well, adding additional dressing and salt and pepper, if desired.   Spoon salad onto chilled plates and sprinkle with cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.