Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hoagie Salad - With Real Hoagies!

    The Il Moya Hoagie Salad

This is another one of those delicious and easy dishes that I came upon somewhat accidently.  In our home, good Italian Hoagies are easily accessible - living on the border of true South Philly - but they are still a treat. We usually each get a large hoagie when we do so treat ourselves.  We always order them with hot peppers and with the authentic olive oil and oregano dressing.

This mighty meal of a sandwich comes standard with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, a mix of chesses, and a mix of italian meats.  Generally you have some flexibility in the meat and cheese mixes, so we go with our favorites.  And it is, of course, not a true hoagie unless it's on a beautiful, seeded roll made preferably in South Philly.

To round out the meal, I always need potato chips and a good artisanal soda - Hanks or Boylans - no pepsi or coke, and Cream Soda in my opinion is the best match.  

It is a feast.  We almost never finish both sandwiches.

So - we wrap our leftovers tightly and well and put them in the 'fridge for later snacking. One day, before unwrapping and eating our left overs, I decided to try something different.

Now, to be sure, if you google, "Hoagie Salad", you will find tons of recipes.  Our Hoagie Salad is "different" because we make it from left over hoagies.  You can follow one of the recipes on the internet which will have you start from scratch and shop and attempt to produce a salad that "tastes like a hoagie", OR you can have a lovely and nutritious "Hoagie Night" at your home and save all of the leftovers halves and quarters, wrap them well, and store them in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours and have yourself a real hoagie salad.  Honestly this salad is so good - and such a crowd pleaser - that I have been known to buy great hoagies, let them rest in the refrigerator over night, and then, make the salad from them.


Note:  How much you need of additional ingredients really depends on how much chopped, left over hoagies you have.  It's totally a "by eye" and "by taste" thing.  Quanto Basto - as the Italians say.  "As much as you want".

Unwrap your left over hoagies and chop each hoagie into bite sized pieces.  The whole thing, don't remove anything, just start chopping through the bread.  Put the chopped hoagie pieces into a bowl.  Chop up some iceberg lettuce (don't tell me that it has no food value! I love it and it is perfect here).  Add it to the bowl.  I like to add a little more extra virgin olive oil, a couple of glugs of red wine vinegar, a little shake of good dry oregano, and a bit of salt and pepper.  You can also add a bit of good mayonnaise if you wish. Toss and you have a basic Hoagie Salad.

However. . . 

There is great space for creativity here!  Start with the basic salad above, but before tossing it, add whatever you have on hand that you think would be good in the mix.  For example, in tomato season, I always add some more chopped tomatoes - drain them a bit if you can; chop up some cucumber and add that; and if you have them, chopped marinated artichoke hearts make a nice addition.   Black or green - or both - olives are great too.  Make sure they are pitted.

What not to add . . .

If you are starting with great hoagies, I would not add cheeses or meats.  That's the great thing about this salad, you have the most important contents already.  

Now.  Toss and enjoy.  I guarantee you will not have left overs!  This salad keeps well for up to a day in the 'fridge.


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