7811 Herschel Avenue, La Jolla
If you think there's nothing to creating a chopped salad except chopping fresh vegetables and adding lettuce, think again. At Sante, some of the vegetables, such as string beans and fresh artichoke hearts and mushrooms, are boiled briefly in three parts water and five parts red wine vinegar. After they are blanched and cooled, each of these vegetables is placed in a separate container filled with extra virgin olive oil. They are kept in the oil for at least two weeks. At the moment of preparation, romaine lettuce; Boston lettuce; radicchio; arugula; yellow, red, and green peppers; plus uncooked zucchini and yellow squash are cubed very fine. These are tossed with pickled beets and the marinated mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and string beans that have been removed from their olive oil bath. At the last minute, chopped fresh tomatoes are added, and the whole is tossed with made-on-the-premises Italian dressing. The combination of fresh and marinated vegetables and the variety of lettuces will set your palate dancing.