Yum! Who doesn’t love a home cooked Italian dinner? Pasta with spicy, tangy tomato sauce. Crusty bread dipped in olive oil. And the Best Italian Salad to get the taste buds going.
The Best Italian Salad Dressing
Early in the day, prepare the dressing. I like to serve the dressing separately from the salad so that each person can determine how much dressing they want to use.
TIP: Use glass votive cups for individual servings of Best Italian Salad Dressing.
The Best Italian Salad
Best Italian Salad starts with a mix of Romaine lettuce, baby spinach, Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and red pepper.
Here’s what really makes this salad special:
Pepperoni- yes, pepperoni! I love the salty spicy zing that pepperoni adds to this Italian Salad. I also use pepperoni in my Baked Chicken Italiano.
Marinated artichoke hearts- rinse them before adding. Otherwise, the flavor of the marinade will overpower the salad dressing.
Fresh mozzarella- I like mozzarella pearls, little bites of creamy goodness. There is just no substitute for fresh. Of course, you can buy a larger chunk of fresh mozzarella and cut into bite-size pieces.
Grated parmesan- freshly grated has the best flavor, and you avoid the danger of weird fillers that you may get with the powdered stuff.
Toss everything together in a large bowl.
Drizzle with Best Italian Salad Dressing when ready to serve.
- 5 cups Romaine lettuce, torn
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
- 1/2 of 7.5 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, rinsed
- 2 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
- 8- 10 pepperoni slices
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon finely minced sweet onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Toss salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Early in the day, place all salad dressing ingredients in a small lidded jar, cover and shake until combined. Chill in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, shake again before drizzling over salad.
- If you like lots of dressing, you may want to double the dressing recipe. It is also great for dipping your crusty garlic bread.
So, you now have an awesome salad to start your Italian dinner. What next? I have you covered! I’m joining a group of Italian lovin’ ladies to bring you recipes for an entire dinner. Pick and choose from among these links to make your Italian dinner a gourmet feast. Buon Appetito!