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This is a copycat recipe for Olive Garden's Insalata (the salad they serve tableside). Time does not include the 24 hour chill time.
- 8 ounces Paul Newman's Vinegar and Oil Dressing
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 (16 ounce) bagprepared mixed salad greens (American Blend Dole Salad)
- 5 slices red onions
- 6 black olives
- 4 banana peppers
- 1⁄2 cup crouton
- 1 small tomato, quartered
- freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Put dressing ingredients into a bottle and shake well. Refrigerate 24 hours before using.
- Chill one salad bowl in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Place bag of salad in bowl. Place on top of lettuce the red onion, black olives, banana peppers, tomatoes, and croutons. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you like, and add plenty of Olive Garden Insalada Dressing on top, shaking before using.
While my family thought that this was good, DH thought this dressing was the best he's ever had. Guess I'll be making this a lot! Going to have a bottle of that dressing on hand from now on.
Made this salad for Christmas Eve dinner to go along with our Chicken Parmesan, rigatoni, & garlic Bread. It was such a delicious and colorful accompaniment, piled high in my huge wooden salad bowl. I used three bags of romaine mix, tossed in several small pepperoncinis in exchange for the banana peppers, and added several handfuls of mozzarella cheese. I also used the red onion, small black olives, and grape tomatoes, and added a few pinches more sugar to the dressing. The croutons and dressing were added right before serving, and everyone loved it. We agreed it tasted BETTER than Olive Garden's! My sis and her hubby even ate the leftovers for breakfast!
I don't think this tastes much like the Olive Garden dressing (too vinegary?), but I really, really love this stuff. My son takes it in his lunch nearly every day and he is PICKY - thank you so much for the recipe!