Recipe Review

I Tried Pizzeria Salad and It’s 110% Worthy of Its Name

published Jul 22, 2022
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Credit: Sheela Prakash

Pizza Friday is a weekly ritual in my household. Most of the time, my husband and I stay in and make pizza ourselves. But after a long week, we’re never opposed to ordering a takeout pie or walking to our neighborhood pizzeria.

One of my favorite parts about visiting our local pizza place isn’t the pizza itself, as carb-y and wonderful as it is — it’s the salad. You know the kind of salad I am talking about. It’s usually a romaine (or iceberg!) based bowl with tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, maybe cucumbers, some black olives, and, if you’re lucky, spicy pepperoncini peppers. It’s all tied together with a vinegary, oregano-heavy Italian vinaigrette, and it’s perfection. The cold, crunchy vegetables and bracing dressing are the ultimate antidote to a cheesy slice. So when Julia Turshen shared her version of the salad on Instagram (and in her newsletter Keep Calm & Cook On), I just had to try it.

Get the recipe: Pizzeria Salad

How to Make Julia Turshen’s Pizzeria Salad

Julia’s recipe is quite simple. Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, dried oregano, and minced garlic in a large bowl to make the dressing. Then add thinly sliced red onion, pitted black olives, and tomatoes. Break a few pickled pepperonicni peppers over the bowl to release their brine, chop them, and add them to the mix. To finish, add chopped romaine lettuce or a combination of romaine and arugula. Toss to combine and serve.

Credit: Sheela Prakash

My Honest Review of Julia Turshen’s Pizzeria Salad

This salad absolutely lives up to its name. It features all the classic elements of a house salad at a no-frills pizzeria. Julia says you can combine everything in the large bowl (without tossing it together) and let it sit for a bit, which is such a smart make-ahead trick. I also love how unfussy and flexible it is. I used a combination of romaine and a mix of baby arugula and spinach from a clamshell and it worked great. I also opted for kalamata olives rather than black olives because they’re what we had in the fridge. The only change I’d make next time is to add some chopped cucumber to the bowl, if I had one around — not just because it would lend more crunch and freshness, but because, to me at least, it’s another key player in a pizzeria salad.

Nevertheless, this is a quick and easy salad that’s a perfect match for homemade pizza and takeout pies alike, not to mention just about any Italian American dinners. I know I’ll be turning to it frequently on Pizza Fridays and beyond.

Have you tried this pizza-friendly salad? Share your thoughts in the comments below.