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Chopped Salad

3 tomatoes, seeded, chopped and drained

1 fresh, local cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped

1 each red and green sweet bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped dry salami (start with deli-cut slices, then cut into strips and then chop)

1 cup chopped ham (optional, but tasty!)

1 cup sliced black olives, well drained

1 cup chopped sweet onion

1/2 cup chopped green onion (all of the white and pale green portion and a bit of the dark green)

1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded mozzarella, gouda or Swiss cheese

Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

The vegetables can all be washed and chopped up to 24 hours ahead. Store in separate containers until you're ready to assemble the salad.

Two to 5 hours ahead, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, sweet bell peppers, celery, carrots, salami, ham, olives, sweet onion, green onion and shredded cheese in a large bowl. Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to evenly coat the salad. Cover and refrigerate. Makes 10 to 12 generous servings.

VINAIGRETTE: This dressing can be prepared up to a week ahead and refrigerated. Whisk together 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 3 cloves finely minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon sugar or honey, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in 1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil