- 1 fresh chile, such as jalapeño, Fresno or habanero, thinly sliced, seeds removed for less heat
- 1/2 small white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces Castelvetrano or oil-cured black olives, pitted and crushed
- 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, coarsely chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried, plus more for serving
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 1½-inch wedges and leaves pulled apart slightly
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, tender leaves and stems
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ounce pecorino cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup), plus more
This is really a great version of a salad you'd get at an Italian red sauce joint. It's crunchy and acidic, which is everything I want to eat with rich and fatty entrées.
Technique tip: Soaking onions in ice water ahead of time will kill some of their bite; marinating in vinegar, honey, salt and pepper along with the chiles helps soften them. You can cut the iceberg lettuce a few hours ahead and store it in a zippered bag in the refrigerator.
Swap option: Use romaine or escarole instead of iceberg, use red onion instead of white or yellow, use another firm cheese like Parmesan instead of pecorino.
Combine the chile, onion, vinegar and honey in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper and set aside for 5 or so minutes to soften and marinate the onion.2.
Add the olives and oregano to the onion and toss to coat.3.
Arrange the lettuce and parsley on a large serving platter or in a bowl. Spoon the onion-olive mixture over. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter with the cheese and more oregano, if desired, before serving.