January in Chicago brings competing impulses. Our holiday indulgences are over, our pants a little tight, our bodies starved for wholesome things. And yet the long, bitter nights call for comfort. At Pizza Matta, Jason Vincent offers a compromise of a salad: a bracing tangle of greens and crunchy raw veg and seeds, finished with pepperoni and a bold vinaigrette. While Vincent’s OG dressing features peppers fermented for two weeks until funky, the version here, lifted by piquant Calabrian chiles, comes together with a few flicks of a whisk, for a quick dish that’s equally fortifying and fun.

Jason Vincent’s Pepperoni Salad

Active time:10 minutes
Total time:25 minutes

¾ cupCherry tomatoes
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp.Extra virgin olive oil, divided
 Salt and pepper
½ tsp.Minced garlic
1½ tsp.Minced shallot
½ tsp.Dried parsley
½ tsp.Dried oregano
½ tsp.Mushroom powder (available on Amazon)
½ tsp.Sugar
1 Tbsp.Minced Calabrian chiles
2 Tbsp.Rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp.Red wine vinegar
½ cupCanola oil
16 cupsMixed greens
12 slicesPepperoni, chopped
¼ cupSunflower seeds
½ cupShaved aged provolone
1Large cucumber, diced
1Fennel bulb, trimmed and shaved
1 cupCroutons
1Small red onion, shaved
¼ cupFried garlic (available on Amazon)

1. Roast the tomatoes: Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss tomatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and roast on a baking sheet until softened, about 12 minutes. Set aside.

2. Make the dressing: While tomatoes cool, mix garlic, shallot, herbs, mushroom powder, sugar, chiles, and vinegars in a large measuring cup with a spout. Slowly add remaining olive oil, followed by canola oil, whisking constantly to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Assemble the salad: Place greens in a large serving bowl. Arrange tomatoes, pepperoncini, pepperoni, sunflower seeds, provolone, cucumber, fennel, croutons, onion, and fried garlic on top. Just before serving, whisk dressing briefly to reemulsify. Drizzle salad with dressing and toss to combine.