I now live in a place where there are no Olive Gardens (I know, hard to believe), and my favorite part of going there was the salad. So I was very excited when I saw this recipe in the newest Food Network magazine (June/July 2009). My husband and I both really liked the homemade version, but he thought it tasted like the real deal, and I thought it was so close but something was missing. Either way, it's a great summer salad!
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Miracle Whip
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
For the salad:
- 1 10-ounce bag American salad blend (I actually just used Romaine)
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 small pickled peppers, such as pepperoncini (I used sliced,mild banana peppers, chopped)
- 1 small vine-ripened tomato, quartered
- 2 tablespoons sliced black olives (I used about 10 whole black olives, but I REALLY like black olives)
- 1/2 cup large croutons
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
Combine all the dressing ingredients and 1 to 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth.
Place the salad blend in a large bowl and top with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing, and toss.