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Iceberg Salad with Pecorino, Olives and Pickled Chile
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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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.


    • 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


1. 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.

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