Everyone loves a good salad and I am always looking for new exciting ways to present an old fashioned  Italian American Salad.  This one was prepared by Stephanie Goldberg who is a chef extraordinaire.  Her inspiration came from a Don Angie recipe based on ingredients you would find in an Italian pizzeria.  What makes this one special is an updated version of a Green Goddess dressing, using basil instead of tarragon.  I love basil and grew my own basil from seeds brought back from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  The seeds are so small.  I’ve harvested the dried blooms, rolled and cajoled the tiny black seeds from the bloom.  Hundreds ready for planting in the spring.  But I digress.

The original recipe is for an iceberg Wedge Salad, but Stephanie cleverly likes to serve this salad on individual cutting boards and chops the lettuce for a more manageable presentation.

Stephanie's Italian American Salad at dinner party photo by Judy Wilson

photograph courtesy of Judy Wilson

I’ve made a few changes based on my preferences, but include both Stephanie’s ingredients and the ones I substitute.  I used my special KathyMillerTime Charcuterie board.

Italian American Salad photo by Kathy Miller


  • 2 heads iceberg lettuce
  • 1 large bunch of basil (35-40 leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup creamy herb dressing recipe below
  • 1/3 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers (5-6)
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion (or sweet onion) very thinly sliced in half moons
  • 4 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese, (preferably Dolcelatte) crumbled. (I use a nice feta cheese such as Dodoni)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Pepperoni Crumbs
  • 1/4 pound pepperoni from a stick, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Creamy Herb Dressing
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 6 tablespoons plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons creme fraÎche
  • 1/4 cup packed roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup packed roughly chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Make the creamy herb dressing:
  1. In a blender, combine the anchovies, garlic, yogurt, crème fraîche, parsley, basil, chives, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sugar and olive oil and blend until smooth.  The dressing may be made up to 3 days ahead.
Make the pepperoni crumbs:
  1. In a food processor, pulse the pepperoni for 1 minute until it looks ground and paste-like.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over low heat.  Add the pepperoni and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Add the panko and cook until golden, about 2 minutes.  Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.  You should have about 1 cup of pepperoni crumbs.
Assemble the salad:
  1. Chop both heads of lettuce.
  2. Add 8- 10 basil leaves, chopped
  3. Sprinkle with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and oregano, then spoon about 4 tablespoons of dressing over.  Toss adding more dressing if desired.
  4. Arrange the pepperoncini, tomatoes, onion, and Gorgonzola over the top, and finish with black pepper.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup pepperoni crumbs over top.
Serve immediately.

Kathy's Notes

I am not a fan of red onions so I use a sweet onion, preferably Vidalia onion in season.  Also I substitute a good Greek feta cheese such as Dodoni found at Harris Teeter for the Gorgonzola.

Stephanie Goldberg via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

Thank you Stephanie for sharing your recipe and talents at many events!

The Charcuterie Board is very special to me.  My 2 sisters commissioned it as a birthday gift.  It is designed and handmade by Karen Walkup.  I’ll be telling her story about the board soon!

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.



  • Kay Fillingim says:

    Love this! I’d like to hear more about the Monticello basil seeds…….and the charcuterie board, of course😊

  • Kathy Miller says:

    This is so good. I have so many tiny basil seeds. Last year I used a pellet system with a plastic cover to start the seed. Works like a terrarium. Then transplant outside in pots when warm enough! I had so much basil

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