Just the title of this recipe gets me excited! Pizza night salad 😊 . You already know: this is a veg-heavy side dish that goes well with pizza. It’s briny, vinegar-y, salty, sweet, crisp, and surprisingly hearty on its own. In my opinion this is the ultimate green salad to go with pizza. Whether we’re ordering takeout or making the pie at home, I almost always eat salad with pizza. I just like something fresh and crisp to contrast and to round out the pizza night. My take on a vegan caesar salad is also a great option.
The most key component of this salad is a homemade red wine vinegar dressing with fresh thyme. This dressing has a lot going on! Garlic, the fresh thyme (it’s incredible here), a little sweetness from agave or sugar, Dijon mustard and Tamari for depth, a dollop of vegan mayonnaise to give it more body, a splash of salty/spicy pepperoncini brine, and olive oil. We simply shake it up in a jam jar! The dressing hangs more on the acidic side because that is my personal preference–and I also just enjoy that sharpness as a contrast to the main event.
The rest of this pizza night salad just comes together in a couple bowls and on your cutting board. Another really important thing to take note of: try to cut the romaine, radicchio, cucumber, red onion, sun dried tomatoes, and everything else nice and fine. That way you get a little bit of everything in every single bite. It’s almost like a salad within a salad. I like to top it with my vegan parmesan.
Pizza recipes to go with your Pizza Night Salad:
- Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Pizza
- Spicy Vegan Butternut Flatbread with Za’atar & Miso Garlic Sauce
- BBQ Mushroom Flatbread with Chive Cream
The chickpeas give this dish an abundant and substantial feel. I give lots of tips and substitution recommendations in the notes of the recipe itself, just in case you can’t find every single thing at the store. Next time you need something to serve with pizza for dinner, I hope that you give this flavourful salad a try!
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Pizza Night Salad
Red Wine Vinegar & Thyme Dressing
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1 tablespoon pepperoncini pepper brine
- 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
- 2-3 teaspoons agave nectar/fine sugar/honey
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Tamari soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced with a Microplane
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- ½ medium red onion, small dice (about ¾ cup diced red onion)
- ½ English cucumber, small dice (about 1 cup diced cucumber)
- ½ cup pepperoncini peppers, stems removed and chopped fine
- ½ cup pitted olives, chopped fine
- 2 sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, minced (about ⅓ cup minced sun dried tomato)
- 2 romaine hearts, finely shredded (about 5-6 cups shredded romaine)
- 1 small head radicchio, finely shredded (about 2-3 cups shredded radicchio)
- vegan "parmesan", for serving (optional)
- I recommend a milder-tasting olive oil for the dressing here. Save your robust and peppery olive oil for something extra special!
- I used chopped up Cerignola olives–any pitted olives that you love are great.
- I double up this dressing recipe all the time to keep on hand in the fridge. It lasts about two weeks.
- If you’re sensitive to the bitter flavour of radicchio, you can substitute it with another romaine heart.
- I really do prefer fresh thyme in this dressing! There’s just something about it. That said, if you want to make it with dried thyme, use 1 ½ teaspoons.
- My vegan “parmesan” recipe can be found here.
- Make the dressing. In a sealable jar, combine the red wine vinegar, thyme, pepperoncini pepper brine, vegan mayonnaise, agave nectar, Dijon mustard, Tamari, garlic, salt, and pepper. Seal the lid on top of the jar and give it a good shake. Open up the jar and add the olive oil. Seal the lid back on and give it another shake. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, pepperoncini peppers, olives, and sun dried tomatoes. Season this mixture with salt and pepper and toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing.
- Add the romaine, radicchio, and remaining dressing to a large serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add ½ of the chickpea and vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Top the salad with the remaining chickpea and vegetable mixture, extra black pepper, and vegan "parmesan" if you like. Serve immediately.